President urges partners to increase pressure on Russian occupation authorities in Crimea
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has called on partners to jointly increase pressure on the Russian occupation authorities of Crimea in order to stop the persecution of Ukrainian citizens on the peninsula because of the "shameful sentence" against deputy head of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people Ilmi Umerov.
"I urge partners to increase pressure on the Russian occupation authorities to stop the persecution of Ukrainian citizens in the Ukrainian Crimea," he wrote on his Facebook page on Wednesday.
Poroshenko described as "shameful" the verdict against Umerov who was sentenced by judges in the Russian-occupied peninsula on Wednesday to two years in a penal colony.
"The unbending hero of his people, against whom Moscow used the worst methods of the Soviet repressive machine - from punitive psychiatry to a low-security colony," he wrote.
On September 27, the Simferopol District Court sentenced Umerov to two years in a low-security colony.
According to interfax.ru, Umerov's defense team intends to appeal against the verdict. The prosecutor during the debate a week ago asked for a 3.5 years suspended sentence for Umerov.
For the time being, the 60-year-old handicapped politician will stay at home. If the appellate court upholds the verdict, Umerov will be sent to the low-security colony.
Some 50 supporters of the Mejlis deputy head gathered outside the court. Some shouted words of support, some women cried.
Umerov's four lawyers insisted on their client's innocence. Umerov said he was framed up and the case was politically motivated, saying that the translation of his address delivered in the Crimean Tatar language into Russian, which was the basis for the charges, was loose and some calls were added to the text.