Russia should cancel sentences to Ukrainians in Hizb ut-Tahrir case, release them, all illegally detained Ukrainians - MFA
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine expresses its strong protest over the illegal decision of the court of Russian Federation on sentences to seven citizens of Ukraine, defendants of the "second Bakhchisarai group 'Hizb ut-Tahrir.'"
"The Russian Federation should cancel the court decision and immediately release Marlen Asanov, Memet Belialov, Server Zekiryaev, Timur Ibragimov, Server Mustafayev, Seiran Saliev and Edem Smailov, as well as all the citizens of Ukraine illegally detained," the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said in a commentary published on Wednesday.
The department also calls on the international community to respond to "such a shameful decision of the occupying state, to condemn the use of the Russian illegal practice of prosecuting dissent, to demand that Russia stops violating international law." In addition, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs asks to continue active work to protect the rights and freedoms of residents of the Crimean Peninsula and to increase pressure on the Russian Federation, including sanctions.
The department reported that all these citizens of Ukraine were illegally detained on the territory of temporarily occupied Autonomous Republic of Crimea, accused under Article 205.5 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation "Organization and participation in terrorist activities" and in violation of international law, illegally transferred to the territory of Russia in Rostov-on-Don.
Also, the pretrial investigation and trial took place with numerous procedural violations.
"The terrible terms of imprisonment on openly fabricated charges of terrorist activity are a vivid evidence of how the occupying state actively uses its anti-terrorist legislation to mask systemic political repression and religious discrimination against representatives of the Crimean Tatar people in order to intimidate and suppress any disloyal civil movements and initiatives on the temporarily occupied Crimea peninsula," the ministry said.
As reported, the Crimean Tatars, defendants in the case of so-called "second Bakhchisarai group "Hizb ut-Tahrir," received maximum sentences in a strict regime colony: Marlen Asanov - 19 years, Memet Belialov - 18 years, Server Mustafayev - 14 years, Edem Smailov - 13 years, Seiran Saliev - 16 years, Timur Ibragimov - 17 years, Server Zekiryaev - 13 years.