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Home  >  Аrticles  >  Briefings & Press Conferences  >  24 October 2018, 18:10

Dzhaparova: Russia Trying to Discredit Crimean Tatar Leaders

On 24 October 2018, a press conference on the occasion of the anniversary of the liberation of Ilmi Umerov and Akhtem Chyihoz, deputy Chairmen of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people, who were illegally sentenced in occupied Crimea, was held at the press centre of Ukrinform news agency.

The First Deputy Minister of Information Policy of Ukraine, Emine Dzhaparova, noted at the press conference that one of the aspects of the Kremlin’s insidious information policy is discrediting leaders of the Crimean Tatar people.

“On the one hand, occupants ‘squeeze’ activists, Ukrainians -- Crimean Tatars -- out of Crimea by searches, torture, political persecution, fines, and other punitive measures. They are deported, banned entry, investigated as criminals, and so on. On the other hand, through Crimean lapdog news media, including Millet TV channel, they are trying to discredit Crimean Tatar leaders by labelling them as runaways and spreading the myth around Crimean Tatars of their leaders capitalising politically on their suffering, thus separating them from the people, which mostly lives in the occupied peninsula,” she said.

Mykola Polozov, a lawyer, spoke about progress in court hearings against the Presidential Administration of Russia on granting pardon decrees, necessary to justify the legal status of Mr Umerov and Mr Chyihoz. He said both decrees remain classified.

The deputy Chairmen of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people said they were still intent on returning to Crimea, and called on the Ukrainian Government and the international community to exert more effort in freeing political prisoners of the Kremlin.

“Exchanges will yield nothing, there have to be appropriate sanctions against Russia by the international community,” Mustafa Dzhemilev, Ukrainian MP and the President’s Commissioner for the Crimean Tatar people, stressed at the press conference.

On 25 October 2017, Akhtem Chyihoz and Ilmi Umerov. illegally convicted in occupied Crimea, were released to Turkey by Russia. Mr Umerov had been sentenced to two years in penal settlement on charges of public calls for violation of Russia’s territorial integrity. Mr Chyihoz was sentenced to eight years in prison in the so-called “February 26th case”.

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