Crimean Tatars: EU Calls on Russia to Release Illegally Detained Ukrainians
The EU spokesman Peter Stano has called on Russia to release all “illegally detained” Crimean Tatars. The case refers to the military court in Rostov-on-Don that sentenced eight Crimean Tatars to 13 to 19 years imprisonment over "terror" charges last Wednesday. “The European Union does not recognize the enforcement of Russian legislation in Crimea and the city of Sevastopol as it is illegal under international law, nor the transfer of Ukrainian citizens from Crimea to courts in Russia,” the spokesman said in a statement. Crimea's ethnic Tatars have faced persecution since Russia's 2014 takeover of the peninsula.
Below is a statement by the European Union
On 16 September 2020, the Southern District Military Court in Rostov-on-Don sentenced seven individuals arrested in the Crimean peninsula on 7 July 2020, including Server Mustafayev, a Crimean Tatar activist and a coordinator of Crimean Solidarity, to prison terms for their alleged political affiliation. Their terms range from 13 to 19 years.
The European Union does not recognise the enforcement of Russian legislation in Crimea and the city of Sevastopol as it is illegal under international law, nor the transfer of Ukrainian citizens from Crimea to courts in Russia. The EU calls on Russia to reverse these decisions and to release all illegally detained Ukrainians without delay.
The EU expects Russia to end the pressure on the Crimean Tatar community. International human rights standards must be guaranteed in the peninsula. Full, free and unrestricted access for international human rights actors to the whole territory of Ukraine, including Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, continues to be paramount.
The European Union is unwavering in its support for Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognised borders.