“We condemn the ongoing political repressions against Crimean Tatars by the occupant authorities (of Crimea)”, the Ministry’s Press Secretary Maryana Betsa tweeted.
Earlier today, Nikolai Polozov, the lawyer of Ahtem Chyigoz, deputy leader of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people, reported that the Superior Court of the annexed Crimea extended the prison term for three Crimean Tatar activists.
Under the respective decision, Akhtem Chyigoz, Ali Asanov and Mustafa Degermendzhy are to stay in detention by April 11. All three of them are accused of “extremism” for participation in the two-year-old peaceful rally to oppose the occupation of Crimea by Russia.
On February 26, 2014, several thousands of Crimean Tatar activist gathered in front of the Supreme Council of Crimea to support territorial integrity of Ukraine. They were opposed by advocates of accession to Russian Federation, led by the leader of the Russian Unity movement Sergey Aksyonov.
The date and venue were not chosen randomly — an extraordinary meeting of the Supreme Council, during which Crimean MPs were expected to address Russian authorities, was scheduled for that day. The protests ruined these plans, however.
Violent clashes erupted between the sides during the rally and developed into mass unrest. Two pro-Russian activists were found dead after the violence subsided. A year later Russian Investigative Committee filed a criminal case regarding organizing mass unrest. Then came the first arrests of activists.