“The sentencing of Ilmi Umerov, the Deputy Chairman of the Crimean Tatar Mejlis, to two years imprisonment for “separatism” is deeply concerning. Once again, this demonstrates the Russian Federation’s systematic persecution of those who voice their opposition to the illegal annexation of Crimea,” the British Embassy in Ukraine’s statement informs.
“The sentencing of Ilmi Umerov offers yet another example of the deteriorating human rights situation in Crimea since 2014, as highlighted most recently in the report by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rightspublished on 25 September. Ilmi Umerov’s view that the annexation of Crimea is illegal has been widely supported by the international community, including through the UN General Assembly and the EU’s package of sanctions on Russia,” the Embassy says.
It is also emphasized that “from the beginning, Umerov’s case, including his detention in a psychiatric unit in 2016, has fallen well short of international standards.”
The Embassy went o to say that they do not and will not recognize Russia’s annexation of Crimea, and urged Russia to release all political prisoners.
As it was reported earlier, the Court in occupied Crimea sentenced Ilmi Umerov for two years in prison.
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.
In September 2016, the highly-ranked Crimean Tatar official has been released from the psychiatric clinic. It was proved that he is mentally sane.