In occupied Crimea, Russian authorities continue to repress the local Crimean Tatar People. Representatives of the Federal Security Service (FSB) have been raiding houses of Tatars searching for alleged terrorist organisation members.
After the raids conducted on 27 March 2019, 23 individuals were placed under arrest. Civic journalists, activists of the peaceful Crimean Solidarity Movement and individuals supporting imprisoned Ukrainian nationals were amongst them. The work of lawyers, defending politically prosecuted activists and their relatives in Crimea, is subject to obstruction and victims’ right to defence is violated.
Disabled and elderly activist Edem Bekirov, detained in Simferopol since December 2018, suffers from a number of diseases and has been denied proper medical assistance which poses a grave threat to his life and makes his release an urgent necessity.
We fully support the recent declaration by the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini, on behalf of the European Union condemning the growing restrictions of freedom of expression, religion or belief and association and the right to peaceful assembly in Crimea and the city of Sevastopol.
The sanctions against the Russian Federation must be maintained and “Magnitsky laws” should be applied against those accountable for the gross human rights violations in Crimea and Sevastopol.