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Mass detentions in Crimea: Department of State demands from the occupiers to release Crimean Tatars

Deputy Head of the Crimean Tatar Mejlis Nariman Dzhelyalov. Photo: Facebook Refat Chubarov

Deputy Head of the Crimean Tatar Mejlis Nariman Dzhelyalov. Photo: Facebook Refat Chubarov

The United States demands that the Russian occupying authorities in Crimea immediately release Nariman Dzhelyalov, the Deputy Head of the Crimean Tatar Mejlis, as well as about 50 other Crimean Tatars who were detained during a protest under the FSB building in Simferopol.

According to the statement on the Department of State’s website, the American authorities strongly condemn the detention of Dzhelyalov and at least 45 other Crimean Tatars and demand that they be released. Ned Price, US Department of State Spokesperson, noted that "Russia continues to target those who oppose the annexation of Crimea."

"Crimea is Ukraine, and the United States is unwavering in its support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity," the statement reads.

Additionally. On September 3-4, Russian security forces abducted Dzhelyalov and four other Crimean Tatars (Aziz Akhtemov, Asan Akhtemov, Shevket Useinov, and Eldar Odamanov). In response to this, the concerned population and family members of the detainees staged a protest outside the FSB building in Simferopol. Law enforcers violently detained about 50 activists. All of them were taken to different stations of the so-called police. According to the latest information, some of them have already been released.

Refat Chubarov, the Head of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people, reported on his Facebook page that Dzhelyalov had been accused of sabotage. He faces up to 15 years in prison. The cousins Akhtemov Aziz and Akhtemov Asan were charged under the same article.

"The incrimination of a "terrorist" article to Nariman Dzhelyalov along with reprisals for his principled, honest and enduring position he openly defended during the entire period of the Russian occupation of Crimea, is another Kremlin’s attempt to discredit the representative body of the indigenous Crimean Tatar people—the Mejlis," Chubarov explained.

Dzhelyalov's lawyer said that his client had been tortured. According to him, the detainee had been in handcuffs, with a bag on his head, and under strong psychological pressure.

Context. The first summit of the Crimean Platform took place in Kyiv on August 23. Representatives of 46 countries and organizations attended it. Following the meeting, a joint declaration was signed.

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