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Nizametdin Akhmetov


Nizametdin Akhmetov, USSR Dissident.


Akhmetov, Nizametdin was born in 1948.


Muslim. One of the longest serving prisoners of conscience in the Soviet Union. Spent 18 years in labour camps and mental hospitals. One of the activists in the Crimean Tartars movement for their return to the Crimea, their ancestral homeland, from which they were deported by Stalin in 1944.

First conflict with the authorities, 1966. Sentenced to 2 years imprisonment. Not released after having served his term.

Put in solitary confinement and given another 7 years for anti-Soviet agitation to be followed by another 5 years in exile. In prison protested with other prisoners about the appalling conditions. Sentenced to 5 more years for having written on his cell wall 'The USSR is a Prison of the Peoples’.

In 1979 a letter from him was published in West Germany. Became a celebrated international case (see Bernard Levin, 'Two Men Under Tyranny’, printed in The Times, 1987). Another letter from him was smuggled to the Madrid sessions of the Helsinki Conference.

Severely beaten up in prison. Sent to a psychiatric hospital in Kazakhstan, later moved to another such hospital in Cheliabinsk in the Urals. Following international pressure released in July 1987.

Received permission to go for medical treatment to West Germany.