24 October 2016

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U.K. calls on Russia to free Crimean Tatar activist Umerov, return Crimea to Ukraine

The United Kingdom has called on Russia to free Deputy Chairman of Mejlis of the Crimea Tatar People Ilmi Umerov and return occupied Crimea to Ukraine.


"The detention and treatment of the Deputy Chairman of Mejlis of the Crimea Tatar People, Ilmi Umerov, is a cause of deep concern. Umerov's forced detention and examination in a psychiatric unit, along with reports of his deteriorating health are disturbing. We call on the Russian authorities to respect international human rights standards; to release Umerov without delay; and to allow him access to the medical care that he needs," a statement posted on the British Embassy in Kyiv reads.

"It is clear that human rights standards are not being met in Crimea and we continue to call on the Russian Federation to allow immediate, unfettered access to all international human rights monitoring bodies. We do not, and will not, recognise Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea. Russia must return Crimea to Ukraine," the statement said.

HRW calls on Russia to immediately free Crimean activist UmerovThe FSB Russian Federal Security Service, in May 2016, initiated a criminal case against Umerov on charges of separatism. Kremlin-controlled Crimean prosecutor Natalia Poklonskaya said Umerov had called for violating Russia's territorial integrity on Ukrainian TV channel ATR.

Umerov was detained on May 12. Despite his ill health, Simferopol's Russia-controlled Kyivsky district court ordered his forensic psychiatric examination. The examination began on August 18. Umerov is reportedly to be held in the psychiatric unit until September 7.

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