Yesterday, a court in Rostov-on-Don sentenced Ukrainian citizens Muslim Aliyev, Refat Alimov, Enver Bekirov, Arsen Dzhepparov, Emir-Useyn Kuku and Vadym Syruk to lengthy prison terms. They are accused of belonging to an organisation that is banned in Russia but not in Ukraine. The excessive sentences, ranging from 7 to 19 years imprisonment, constitute the latest targeting by the Russian Federation of Ukrainians from the Crimean peninsula including Crimean Tatars and human rights defenders.
The European Union does not recognise the enforcement of Russian legislation in Crimea and Sevastopol nor the transfer of Crimeans to courts in Russia. The EU expects Russia to reverse these decisions and to release all illegally detained Ukrainians without delay.
All pending cases of human rights violations and abuses, such as enforced disappearances, torture and killings, violence, politically motivated prosecutions, discrimination and harassment, in particular of the Crimean Tatar community, must be thoroughly investigated.