21:13 Sep. 3, 2016
Ukrainian MPs address G20 countries to pressure Russia
In the wake of the G20 summit in China Ukrainian MPs addressed the leaders of the participating countries in an official letter ‘to immediately take all possible political and diplomatic measures to release all hostages and political prisoners held in temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine (i.e., Donbas and Crimea), as well as in the Russian Federation'.
The letter was signed by the Parliament Speaker, Deputy Speaker, Head of Parliament's Committee on Foreign Affairs, members of various fractions of the Ukrainian Parliament.
The letter also asks the G20 members to strongly condemn Russia's prosecution of pro-Ukrainian activists, including also Crimean Tatars and to release all imprisoned activists. Ukrainian MPs note that currently there are at least 107 Ukrainians held hostage in Donbas and at least 9 – in Russia.
"A separate list should be made for dozens of Ukrainians and Crimean Tatars detained in Crimea and now undergoing tortures, in particular, by methods of punitive medicine, same as in the worst time of the USSR", reads the letter.
The letter in particularly focuses on Deputy Chairman of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People Mr. Ilmi Umerov, who was arrested in Crimea in May 2014 on charges for the calls to change the territorial composition of the Russian Federation.
In reality Umerov was imprisoned for his belief and position that Crimea is an integral part of the unitary and sovereign Ukraine – a position generally accepted by the international community and re-confirmed by the U.N. Resolution 68/262 entitled "Territorial integrity of Ukraine".
The non-binding resolution, which was supported by 100 United Nations member states, affirmed the General Assembly's commitment to the territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders and underscored the invalidity of the 2014 Crimean referendum.
Letter of Ukrainian MPs to G20 summit (source: Oleksii Makeiev Facebook page)
Currently Umerov is being held at psychiatric hospital in Simferopol. Ukraine, the EU, the U.K. and the U.S. have all called on Russia to release Crimean Tatar leader Ilmi Umerov.
G20 summit is taking place on 4-5 September in n the city of Hangzhou, China.
BACKGROUND: On February 26, 2014, Umerov along with other Crimean Tatars organised a demonstration against the occupation of the peninsula. Later Russian Federal Security Service initiated a criminal case against him.
On May 12, 58-year-old Ilmi Umerov was arrested. Last week Umerov felt sick during a court session, but much later was taken to the hospital. The judge announced Umerov must undergo forensic psychiatric evaluation.
Thus, Umerov was forcibly placed into a mental ward for forensic medical assessment. According to his lawyers, the conditions in the hospital are harmful for Umerov. The lawyers say without urgent medical treatment their client could die. Umerov suffers from diabetes and heart disease.
Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko called Umerov's detention in psychiatric clinic 'a resurrection of Stalin-era regime'.