IHOR YAREMENKO: ILLEGAL SENTENCE BY THE OCCUPYING AUTHORITIES OF CRIMEAN TATARS IS DISCRIMINATION AND PERSECUTION ON ETHIC AND RELIGIOUS GROUNDS
Today, the Southern District Military Court of the Russian Federation decided upon another sentence of the so-called "Belohirsk group" of Crimean Tatar activists in the Hizb ut-Tahrir case on fabricated charges of "organization and involvement in the activities of a terrorist organization and forcible seizure and retention of power."
The occupying authorities sentenced three political prisoners to more than 50 years in prison: 59-year-old Enver Omerov was illegally sentenced to 18 years in a strict regime colony, his son, Riza Omerov was illegally sentenced to 13 years, and well-known activist Aider Dzhepparov was illegally sentenced to 17 years in a strict regime colony.
Deputy Minister for Reintegration of the Temporary Occupied Territories of Ukraine Ihor Yaremenko stated that Ukraine does not recognize the Russian trial of innocent people whom the Kremlin accuses of terrorism. "We demand the cancellation of this insignificant decision and the immediate release of our citizens. According to Moscow's logic, the Crimean Tatars are guilty by default because, as indigenous people, they live in their native land and do not recognize the attempted annexation of the Crimean Peninsula, which Russia has brazenly occupied. We continue to record the crimes of the Russian Federation. Having an illegal sentence, we are identifying the judges and those involved in these illegal actions. A corresponding list of persons will be formed soon for the imposition of sanctions by Ukraine, as well as an appeal to our international partners with an appropriate request for a similar application of sanctions against the mentioned persons," said Ihor Yaremenko.
Ukraine will continue to assist the Kremlin's political prisoners and their families, including financially, by providing them with the means for legal protection against the arbitrariness of the "Russian repressive machine."
"Religion is a weapon for Russia. Those who fit into the system and support the Russian Orthodox Church have a chance to survive. All who have a different opinion and do not support the actions of the occupying authorities are destroyed. Strengthening sanctions is a response to Russia's religious aggression in Crimea, therefore Ukraine will seek to strengthen sanctions for the Russian Federation and specific individuals for religious persecution in the occupied territories of Ukraine and in the international arena," emphasized Yaremenko.
Let us recall that in December 2020, with its majority, the UN General Assembly has approved the resolution "Situation of Human Rights in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, Ukraine".
The resolution states that the Russian Federation discriminates against the residents of the Peninsula, including Crimean Tatars, as well as Ukrainians and persons who belong to other ethnic and religious groups. The UNGA condemned human rights violations in the occupied Crimea, the attempted annexation and temporary occupation of the Peninsula by Russia.
The resolution also condemns the illegal establishment of Russian jurisdiction and administration in Crimea and specifically notes that the bodies and officials of the Russian Federation established in the temporarily occupied Crimea are illegal and should only be called "the occupying authorities of the Russian Federation".
The UNGA also adopted a resolution "Problem of the militarization of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, Ukraine, as well as parts of the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov". The General Assembly condemns the ongoing temporary occupation by the Russian Federation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, and reaffirms non-recognition of its annexation.
Photo credit: Crimean Solidarity