New Wave of Persecution against Crimean Tatars in Russian-occupied Crimea
June 21, 2019. OTTAWA. The Ukrainian Canadian Congress (UCC) strongly condemns the wave of political persecution against Crimean Tatars in Russian-occupied Crimea. The UCC calls on Canada and the international community to respond to the repressions with resolute action.
The UCC calls on the Government of Canada to:
- Use the authorities in the Magnitsky Act (adopted in 2017) to implement sanctions against Russian officials responsible for the egregious violations of human rights of Ukrainian citizens;
- Significantly increase sectoral sanctions targeting Russia’s economy until Russia ends its occupation of Crimea and parts of the eastern Ukrainian oblasts of Donetsk and Luhansk.
On June 18, five Crimean Tatars – Teymur Abdullaev, Useir Abdullaev, Rustem Ismailov, Emil Dzemadenov and Aider Saledinov – were sentenced to a total of 68 years in prison after being illegally deported from Russian-occupied Crimea to Russia. The politically-motivated, illegal show trial took place in the Northern Caucuses District Military Court. The men were accused of the “crime” of supposedly belonging to Hizb-ut-Tahrir, a peaceful Muslim organization that is legal in Ukraine. All five men have long been recognized as political prisoners.
The Russian occupation regime has also failed to comply with a binding order by the European Court of Human Rights to move Crimean Tatar political prisoner Edem Bekirov to a hospital due to ill health. Should Bekirov remain in the appalling condition of the Simferopol remand prison where he is illegally incarcerated, he could die.
“The Russian occupation regime continues a systemic, reprehensible policy of targeted repression of the Crimean Tatar People, and all those who oppose Russia’s illegal and brutal occupation of Crimea. The recent show trial and mistreatment of political prisoners are the latest examples of Russia’s large-scale violations of international law and abject contempt for internationally recognized human rights,” stated Alexandra Chyczij, UCC National President. “We call on Canada and the international community to resolutely respond to these disgraceful Russian actions and significantly increase sanctions against those responsible for implementing them.”
More information on these cases is available here: