The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine strongly protests against the illegal decision of the Russian Federation North Caucasus District Military Court of 3 November 2020 to convict three Ukrainian citizens — Rustem Emiruseinov, Arsen Abkhairov, and Eskender Abdulganiev — in the so-called “Hizb ut-Tahrir” case.

“These citizens of Ukraine were detained illegally in February 2019 after searches in their houses in the village of Oktyabrske, Krasnogvardeisky district of the temporarily occupied Autonomous Republic of Crimea. The FSB of the Russian Federation unreasonably accused them of involvement in “terrorist activities.” Afterward, they were moved illegally to the territory of Russia to the city of Rostov-na-Donu, which is a violation of international law,” the statement said.

Diplomats highlight that the verdicts of imprisonment for Rustem Emiruseinov (for up to 17 years), Arsen Abkhairov (for 13 years), Eskender Abdulganiev (for 12 years) reach 42 years in total. That is more proof that the occupying power continues to use brutal norms of its anti-terror laws for the systematic political persecution of the Crimean Tatar people to intimidate and suppress any manifestations of disloyalty to the occupation regime.

The outrage is drawn by the fact that the Russian authorities have blocked access to the trial venue for relatives and friends of illegally detained Ukrainian citizens who sought to support our compatriots during sentencing.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs demands the cancelation of the court decision and the release of Rustem Emiruseinov, Arsen Abkhairov, and Eskender Abdulganiev, as well as all illegally detained Ukrainian citizens.

Russia must immediately stop severe human rights violations and implement the UN General Assembly Resolutions “Territorial Integrity of Ukraine of 27 March 2014” and “The situation with human rights in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol (Ukraine)” (2016-2019).

“We call on the international community to increase political, diplomatic, and sanctions pressure on the aggressor state. The goals are to stop human rights violations by Russia in the temporarily occupied Crimea, release all illegally detained Ukrainian citizens in Russia and, the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine, and restore Ukraine’s international integrity within its internationally recognised borders,” the Foreign Ministry said.

Natalia Tolub

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