President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko held a telephone conversation with released Ukrainian and Crimean Tatar public figures - political prisoner Akhtem Chiygoz and deputy chairman of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people Ilmi Umerov who are now in Turkey. This was stated in the message on Presidential Administration website.
"Today, it is a very happy day for millions of Ukrainians who fought and prayed for your release. I believe that today you gave hope not only to those who fought for your liberation, but to all Crimean Tatars - the truth will still win, and we will return Crimea, and that Ukraine will be restored, and we will definitely be together, "the President stressed.
President said that he instructed the Ambassador of Ukraine in Turkey to provide for all the necessary procedures for that Akhtem Chiygoz and Ilmi Umerov return to Kyiv soon.
"I am proud of you because you are true Ukrainian patriots, you are the real sons of Ukraine and the sons of the Crimean Tatar people, you have demonstrated the strength of spirit and I welcome this because you are real heroes," he said.
Poroshenko asked about the health of Ahtem Chiygoz and Ilmi Umerov and noted that in Kyiv they will be able to undergo a full medical examination and treatment.
Ahtem Chiygoz thanked the President for the efforts to free him and Ilmi Umerov. Akhtem Chiygoz and noted that he hoped to come to Ukraine immediately after his release and looks forward to this moment with impatience: "I assumed that I would go to my President first and then I would go on a tour. But it turned out like this. I thought I was being taken to Siberia."
Ahtem Chiygoz also expressed hope for a meeting with the head of state in Kyiv, when he and Ilmi Umerov will return to Ukraine. "I want to tell you a lot: you do not even know when in prison they were shouting: "Glory to Ukraine!" he said, adding that he wants to inform the President in detail about the events in Crimea.
In turn, Ilmi Umerov thanked the president and said: "Our most important task is to restore the borders of Ukraine."
As it was reported ealier Akhtem Chiygoz and Ilmi Umerov, representatives of the Crimean Tatar Mejlis, who had been unlawfully convicted by the Russian occupational court in Crimea, have been extradited to Turkey, according to the leader of the Crimean Tatar people Mustafa Dzemilev.
Ilmi Umerov was arrested by Russian authorities on May 12, 2014 after protesting illegal Russian occupation of the Crimean Peninsula and the repression of native Crimean Tatars. For publicly speaking out against Russia’s illegal occupation, Russian authorities have charged Mr. Umerov with “public calls to action aimed at violating Russian territorial integrity,” which can carry a prison sentence of five years. More alarmingly, in August 2016, Russian authorities took Mr. Umerov to Psychiatric Hospital No. 1 in Simferopol, where he was held against his will.
Akhtem Chiygoz had been held in the pre-trial detention facility for over 18 months, as he was charged with ‘organization and participation in the mass disturbances near the Crimean Parliament’ on February 26, 2014. The "court" convicted him for 8 years of imprisonment on September 11.