Head of the Crimean Human Rights Group Olha Skrypnyk says a total of 37 people were arrested for political reasons in Russian-annexed Crimea in 2018.

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"Thirty seven people were deprived of their liberty within politically motivated cases, including 13 civilians. Among them are activists such as Server Mustafayev, Enver Bekirov, and Yevhen Karakash. Another 24 people are Ukrainian sailors, prisoners of war," she said, as reported by the Ukrainian news outlet Hromadske on January 7.

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In addition, at least six people were arrested in administrative cases in Crimea, she said.

Skrypnyk also added that Russian-backed authorities in the occupied Crimea opened 44 new criminal proceedings in 2018 on grounds of political motivation.

As was earlier reported, unknown individuals in Russian-annexed Crimea attacked Crimean Tatar activist Riza Asanov while he was filming a video report about the controversial Taurida highway on the peninsula.

UNIAN memo. Russia annexed Ukraine's Crimea in March 2014 after its troops had occupied the peninsula. An illegal referendum was held for Crimeans to decide on accession to Russia.

De-facto Crimean authorities reported that allegedly 96.77% of the Crimean population had voted for joining Russia. On March 18, 2014, the so-called agreement on the accession of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol to Russia was signed in the Kremlin.

The West did not recognize the annexation in response to which sanctions against Russia were introduced.

Ukraine's parliament voted to designate February 20, 2014, as the official date when the temporary occupation of Crimea began.