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Once again, this demonstrates the Russian Federation’s systematic persecution of those who voice their opposition to the illegal annexation of Crimea, the British diplomats wrote.

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 Rights published on 25 September.

The diplomats say that 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. From the beginning, Umerov’s case, including his detention in a psychiatric unit in 2016, has fallen well short of international standards.

Read alsoCrimean Tatars' Ilmi Umerov: "Verdicts" cannot take our freedom"We do not, and will not, recognise Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea. Russia must return Crimea to Ukraine and immediately release all those who have been detained or imprisoned for opposing Russian control of the peninsula," the statement reads.

As UNIAN reported earlier, Russian-controlled Simferopol District Court on Wednesday sentenced deputy chairman of the Mejlis of Crimean Tatars Ilmi Umerov, 60, to two years in a settlement colony for "calling for separatism and the violation of Russia's territorial integrity."