​Ukraine: Ministry of Foreign Affairs condemns "illegal decision" to jail 6 Crimean Tatars

Ukraine's Ministry of Foreign Affairs has issued a strongly worded protest over the illegal decision of the Southern District Military Court of the Russian Federation to convict six Ukrainian citizens, Muslim Aliyev, Inver Bekirov, Emir-Useyin Kuku, Vadym Siruk, Refat Alimov and Arsen Dzhepparov on fabricated charges of terrorist activities.

The political motivation of the decision is indicated by the fact that the court ignored the lack of evidence and supported the request of the prosecution, sentencing Aliyev to 19 years, Bekirov to 18 years, Kuku and Siruk to 12 years, Alimov to 8 years, and Gepparova to 7 years of imprisonment.

Ukrinform reports that these six men will serve their sentences in a maximum security penal colony.

This shameful decision once again confirms that Russian ‘anti-terrorist legislation’ is being widely used by the Russian occupying administration as a cover for its political repression against the representatives of the Crimean Tatar people.

Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

The Ministry has called on the international community to condemn the decision and to step-up political, diplomatic and sanctions pressure on the Russia in order to end the gross human rights abuses taking place in temporarily occupied Crimea; support the release of all illegally detained Ukrainian citizens in the Russian Federation; and to restore the territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognised borders.

It also states that the Russian Federation should comply with the resolutions handed down by the UN General Assembly on the Territorial Integrity of Ukraine of 27 March 2014; "The Human Rights Situation in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol (Ukraine)" of December 19th 2016, December 19th 2017 and December 22nd 2018; as well as the Order of the International Court of Justice on Provisional Measures in the context of the claim of Ukraine against the Russian Federation, regarding the application of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.

Amnesty International has consistently criticised the arrests and jailings of Crimean Tatars as “unabated” persecution.

The Tatars, which make up about 15% of Crimea's population, have largely opposed Russian rule and view the 2014 annexation as illegal. Black Sea peninsula.

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