Saturday, 04 December 2021 07:11 GMT

Ukraine - US calls on Russia to release all Crimean political prisoners


(MENAFN- UkrinForm) The United States calls on Russia to release more than 100 Crimean political prisoners, including Deputy Head of the Crimean Tatar Mejlis Nariman Dzhelyal and Radio Liberty journalist Vladyslav Yesypenko.

“We continue to receive reports of serious abuses in Russia-occupied Crimea. We call for the release of all of the over 100 Ukrainian citizens held by Russia as political prisoners, including Deputy Head of the Crimean Tatar Mejlis Nariman Dzhelyal and Radio Liberty journalist Vladyslav Yesypenko,” Courtney Austrian, Chargé d'Affaires at the U.S. Mission to the OSCE, said at the Permanent Council meeting in Vienna on November 25.

Austrian also pointed out concerns about the deteriorating health of imprisoned Crimean Solidarity activist Jamil Gafarov, who suffers from serious kidney disease and is reportedly being denied critical medical care, including dialysis.

In addition, the U.S. diplomat called on the Russian occupying power in Crimea to immediately release 31 Crimean Tatars, who were detained on November 23 while waiting near the Simferopol detention center to greet lawyer Edem Semedlyaev, whose arrest term had ended.

Austrian emphasized that the United States will never recognize Russia's purported annexation of Crimea and Crimea-related sanctions“will remain in place until Russia returns full control of the peninsula to Ukraine.”

As reported, on the evening of November 23, Russian security forces detained 31 people who came to the Simferopol detention center to greet lawyer Edem Semedlyaev after he had served his 12-day arrest. Women, a 14-year-old girl, and five citizen journalists were among those detained.

The occupation court ruled to fine Semedlyaev RUB 4,000 and take him into custody for 12 days. The lawyer was 'found guilty' because he recorded a conversation between the police and his client while performing his duties as a defense lawyer and also refused to undress when officers wanted to check his body for 'extremist tattoos.'

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