14:34 15.08.2017

Kyiv demands from Russia to release illegally detained citizens of Ukraine, including Crimean Tatars

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine expresses its protest and outrage over the new wave of persecution by Russia of ethnic Ukrainians and Crimean Tatars in Crimea and demands to immediately release them.

"The Russian occupation authorities continue discrimination on ethnic and religious grounds in the occupied Autonomous Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol, persecuting ethnic Ukrainians and Crimean Tatars. Despite numerous calls from Ukraine and the international community to immediately release all illegally detained and convicted Ukrainians, the Russian leadership continues the shameful practice of using Ukrainian citizens as hostages of their aggressive policies against our state, putting forward fabricated accusations," the Foreign Ministry said in connection with the political repressions of the Russian Federation against Ukrainian citizens.

The Foreign Ministry recalled that during the last month, at least five politically motivated sentences related to imprisonment were rendered, seven people were arrested or fined. Over the past week there were at least three searches at homes of Crimean Tatars.

"The cynical mass searches, tried and tested by the NKVD, as well as a series of detentions of those who supported the arrested 76-year-old Server Karametov for picket, are evidence of the continuation of the impudent offensive of the Kremlin regime against all those who disagree with the occupation," the statement says.

In addition, the foreign policy department expresses concern about the deteriorating health condition of the illegally sentenced Russian citizen Ruslan Zeitullayev who, on July 27, started another hunger strike to protest the groundless verdict of 15 years of imprisonment and demand that the Russian side urgently resolve the examination of Zeytullaev by Ukrainian doctors.

"Ukraine demands from the Russian Federation immediately and without any additional conditions to release all illegally detained citizens of Ukraine, to stop the practice of political persecution and repressions against our compatriots," the Foreign Ministry said.

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