Rustem Sheikhaliev was born on June 22, 1979, in Uzbekistan, in the town of Samarkand. At fourteen, he returned with his family to Crimea. After school, he entered VPTU-26 as an electric and gas welder. Didn't work by profession. In 1998, I became an entrepreneur, selling fruit and vegetables at the Central Market in Simferomol. He was officially registered, paid taxes and rent. For more than 20 years he gained many regular customers who valued him for his honesty. In 2000 he married Suriya. They have three children. Rustem participated in civic activities, helped organize children's parties, bought products, and then became an assistant cook.
"Rustem is the kind of person who says what he thinks. On his own, he got on his own feet, worked, and built a house. My dream was to finish it and live in it. Every day was a holiday next to him" - says Suriya Sheikhaliev
Since 2014, he went to the courts, helped the families of political prisoners, organized transfers for the illegally arrested Crimean Tatars. In 2015, he became a citizen journalist, shooting photos and videos on his phone, covering the repression of Muslims in Crimea. On March 27, 2019, Rustem's house was searched. Representatives of the Russian security services arrested him, incriminating him in the activities of a terrorist organization (part 2 of article 205.5 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation). Rustem faces up to 20 years in prison.