The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine strongly protested against yet another series of illegal searches and detentions of residents of the occupied Crimea on the morning of 17 August.
“The Russian Federation once again uses its repressive apparatus to persecute and intimidate members of the disloyal Crimean Tatar people, to suppress religious freedom, and to oust the indigenous people, the Crimean Tatars, from the occupied peninsula,” the statement reads.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine underscores that in accordance with the norms of international law, Russia, as an occupying power, is obliged to immediately stop political reprisals on the Crimean peninsula, which it has temporarily occupied.
Ukraine demands that Russia must immediately release the five people detained today, as well as all Ukrainian citizens already held illegally.
“We call on the international community to continue to actively protect the rights and freedoms of Crimean residents and increase pressure on Russia to stop gross human rights violations in the territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, in particular within the new international format initiated by Ukraine – Crimea Platform. We consider these illegal searches and detentions as a provocation ahead of the inaugural summit of the Crimea Platform,” the Foreign Ministry stated.
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky also commented on the situation, saying that unacceptable persecutions must be stopped immediately and people must be released.
Another wave of mass raids on the homes of Crimean Tatars took place in the occupied Crimea at 04:00 on 17 August. Following the investigation, security officers illegally detained five Ukrainian citizens, all Crimean Tatars: imam Rayif Fevziyev and activists Rustem Murasov, Rustem Tayirov, Dzhebbar Bekirov, and Zaur Abdullayev.