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Statement by the Spokesperson on the release of Crimean Tatars and Deputy Chairs of the Mejlis Ilmi Umerov and Akhtem Chyigoz

October 26, 2017.

    *** Deputy Chairs of the Mejlis, Akhtem Chyigoz and Ilmi Umerov, who were sentenced in the Crimean Peninsula last month, in breach of international humanitarian law, were released yesterday. This is good news. The European Union does not recognise the illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol by the Russian Federation and therefore does not recognise the application of Russian law in the Peninsula. The European Union has consistently advocated for their unconditional release and appreciates the efforts of all those who also worked for this outcome.
    The European Union expects Russia to reverse the decision to ban the activities of Mejlis, the self-governing body of the Crimean Tatars, and respect the rights of the Crimean Tatars, including those of freedom of assembly and expression.
    All illegally detained Ukrainian citizens on the Crimean Peninsula and in Russia must be released immediately.

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