Ilmi Umerov, European Union, Crimean Tatar, Mejlis,: EU urges Russia to immediately free one of Crimean Tatar leaders

17:49 Aug. 27, 2016

EU urges Russia to immediately free one of Crimean Tatar leaders

Kyiv holds a campaign to support Ilmi Umarov (UNIAN Photo)

Umerov is held in mental ward with harmful conditions

The European Union insists Russian occupation authorities in Crimea immediately release Ilmi Umerov, Crimean Tatar Mejlis Deputy Chairman, who is illegally held in a psychiatric hospital, and provide him with medical aid.

The corresponding statement of the EU Foreign Service Spokesperson was published in Brussels on August 27

"The forced psychiatric confinement and examination of the Deputy Chairman of the Mejlis, Ilmi Umerov, who was charged of "separatism" in May 2016, represents a clear violation of international human rights standards. We call for his immediate release and, given the serious concerns over his health, urgent and appropriate medical care must be ensured", reads the statement.

The EU Spokesperson said that the European Union repeatedly reported that the human rights situation in Crimea and Sevastopol deteriorated since the Ukrainian peninsula was illegally annexed by Russia.

Read also Russia resurrects Soviet repression, punitive psychiatry in occupied Crimea

"The rights of the Crimean Tatars have been gravely attacked through the banning of the activities of the Mejlis, the self-governing body of Crimean Tatars, and by labelling it "an extremist organisation", the statement reads

Therefore, the EU members "reiterate their call for all Ukrainian citizens illegally detained by Russia, including Oleh Sentsov and Oleksander Kolchenko, who were sentenced one year ago in breach of international law and elementary standards of justice, to be guaranteed a safe return to Ukraine".

The European Union added that it "remains committed to fully implement its policy of non-recognition of the illegal annexation of the Crimean peninsula".

Watch also Waking up world to Russian persecution of Crimean Tatars

On August 26, Ukrainians activists gathered in central Kyiv to show their support for Ilmi Umerov and call on Russian occupation authorities in Crimea to free the Mejlis Deputy Chairman. 

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Kyiv holds a campaign to support Ilmi Umarov and other Crimean Tatars held in detention (UNIAN Photo)

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, later he was taken to the hospital. The judge announced Umerov must undergo forensic psychiatric evaluation. 

Thus, Umerov was forcibly placed into mental ward for forensic medical assessment. According to the 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.

Crimea was seized from Ukraine by Russia in February 2014. Ukraine's Parliament (Verkhovna Rada) officially declared February 20, 2014, a beginning of Russia's illegal occupation of Crimea and Sevastopol. Numerous world leaders strongly condemned the illegal annexation and launched a range of economic sanctions against Russia.

Despite the overall resentment, Moscow rejects the notion "occupation", naming its deeds instead "a renewal of historical justice".

 

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