The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine expresses its resolute protest to the shameful decision of the Southern District Military Court of the Russian Federation of 12 January 2021 to convict three citizens of Ukraine - Aider Dzhapparov, Enver Omerov, and Riza Omerov in the so-called case of “the Bilohorsk group Hizb ut-Tahrir” on fabricated charges of "organizing and participating in a terrorist organization and violent seizure and keeping of power."
They were illegally detained in the temporarily occupied Autonomous Republic of Crimea by the Russian occupation administration's security forces on 10 June 2019. Later, in violation of international humanitarian law, they were transferred to Rostov-on-Don in Russia.
The pre-trial investigation and trial were conducted with numerous procedural violations. Moreover, evidence presented by the lawyers proving that defendants were not involved in the incriminated acts was completely ignored. It points clearly to a political motivation behind the court’s decision to sentence Enver Omerov to 18 years, Ayder Dzhapparov to 17 years, and Riza Omerov to 13 years in a maximum-security correctional facility.
"These sentences became yet another proof that the Russian court system, which has nothing to do with justice, is employed to continue the policy of persecution of Crimean Tatars and suppression of any manifestations of dissent in the occupied Crimea," First Deputy Foreign Minister Emine Dzhaparova said.
We demand the Russian Federation to cancel the court ruling and to immediately release Enver and Riza Omerov, Ayder Dzhapparov, as well as all Ukrainian citizens illegally detained and kept by Russia.
Russia should stop its systemic political persecution in the temporarily occupied Crimea and fulfil its obligations as an occupying power in accordance with international law.
We call on the international community to condemn Russia's political persecution against Ukrainian citizens and to increase political and diplomatic pressure on the aggressor state to release all the Ukrainians and Crimean Tatars illegally detained by the Russian Federation.