OSCE Parliamentary Assembly human rights chair calls for release of Crimean Tatar leader Umerov

COPENHAGEN, 27 August 2016 – The forced commitment to a psychiatric clinic of Ilmi Umerov represents a worrying new low in Russia’s stigmatization of the Crimean Tatar community and should be immediately reversed, said the Chair of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly's human rights committee, Ignacio Sanchez Amor (MP, Spain) today.

“Already facing charges for simply having the courage to speak his mind, Russian authorities are now using an old and particularly worrying tactic to try and silence Umerov,” said Sanchez Amor. “This ugly allegation of mental instability is a transparent attempt to punish Ilmi Umerov for speaking out in favour of Ukraine’s territorial integrity. I call for the immediate reversal of this decision and the release of Mr. Umerov.”

Ilmi Umerov, Deputy Head of the Crimean Tatar Mejlis, which was banned in April, is facing prosecution for reportedly saying during an interview earlier this year that “Russia must be forced to leave Crimea and Donbas.” Earlier this month a court ordered Umerov to undergo psychiatric testing and he was subsequently committed to Simferopol’s Psychiatric Hospital No. 1 for a 28-day period.

In its Tbilisi Declaration adopted last month the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly called on the Russian Federation to reverse the illegal annexation of Crimea and expressed grave concern over the deterioration of the situation of human rights in the region.

At the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly’s 2015 Winter Meeting, Mustafa Dzemiliev, a former Chairman of the Tatar Mejlis and member of the Ukrainian Parliament, reported that thousands of his people have fled to mainland Ukraine in response to attempts to restrict their political and linguistic autonomy by the de facto authorities since the Russian annexation in March 2014. He called for the OSCE and the broader international community to focus efforts on bringing the peninsula back under Ukrainian sovereignty.



Nat Parry

Head of Communications and Press

Office: +45 33 37 80 55
Mobile: +45 60 10 81 77
Email: [email protected]

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