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Crimean Tatar leaders Ilmi Umerov and Akhtem Chiygoz discussed human rights in Ukraine and the impact of EU measures with Human Rights MEPs, on Wednesday.

January 26, 2018.

    During an hearing in the Human Rights Subcommittee, Chiygoz and Umerov, deputy chairs of the the Mejlis, the Crimean Tatar community’s self-governing body that was outlawed by Russian authorities, denounced the situation in Russian-annexed territories, where Ukrainian citizens are subject to politically motivated arrests, sham trials and long sentences by Russian authorities.
    “People are kidnapped on a daily basis, abductions are normal”, explained Chiygoz, adding that the situation “takes us back to 1944, when we were chased out of Crimea” and calling Russia “a terrorist state”. Both leaders were sentenced to imprisonment by Russian courts for opposing the occupation of Crimea and were released in October 2017.
    EP reaction to fundamental rights violations in Ukraine and the occupied territories achieved was effective, especially in regards to the plight of the Crimean Tatars, the protection of Ukrainian political prisoners illegally held in Russia, and the human rights situation in eastern Ukraine, shows the study “Human rights in Ukraine and the EU response, including relevant activities of the European Parliament” presented during the hearing. To make EU action in this field more efficient, the study authors Narine Ghazaryan and Andras Racz propose to link the European financial assistance granted to Ukraine under the Association Agreement to human rights conditionality.
    The situation in Ukraine will stay at the centre of the EP’s and the Subcommittee’s attention, said MEPs. They reiterated that the EU sanctions against Russia will remain strictly linked to the reaching of a sustainable political solution to the conflict in the country's east and the meeting of all relevant conditions. The DROI Subcommittee is also planning to pay a visit to the Human Rights Committee of the Ukrainian Parliament.

Supported by Eurasia Foundation Supported by Eurasia Foundation

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