International Booker-longlisted Ukrainian author Andrey Kurkov has written the introduction to an essay by imprisoned Crimean Tatar leader Nariman Dzhelyal.
Written by Dzhelyal from jail, the full essay with the title “Dignity cannot be annexed” will appear in the spring 2023 issue of the Index on Censorship magazine, published in early April. A non-profit that campaigns for free expression across the world, Index on Censorship publishes work by censored writers and artists and monitors threats to free speech.
With his introduction, Kurkov aims to draw attention to the plight faced by the leader of the persecuted Ukranian group, who was sentenced last year to 17 years in prison “for a crime he did not commit”.
In August 2021, Dzhelyal left Crimea for Kyiv for the first meeting of the Crimean Platform, a newly created international organisation whose goal is the de-occupation of Ukrainian Crimea. On 4th September 2021 Dzhelyal was arrested and charged with an attempted terrorist act.
Kurkov wrote: “There is an urgent need to raise the profile of this case before the final judgement of his appeal, after which he could be transferred to one of [the] most remote Russian prisons and we risk losing touch with him.”
Kurkov said he was struck by Dzhelyal’s “determination to act on his principles and beliefs with a calm understanding that this is the only way to fight injustice and create a path for a positive outcome for the Crimean Tatar people”.
Link to the rest at The Bookseller