Crimea: More than 70 Crimean Tatar activists put on trial simultaneously in brazen crackdown [Amnesty International]

posted 19 Dec 2017, 11:40 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 19 Dec 2017, 11:44 ]
18 December 2017

Reacting to the simultaneous trials today of more than 70 Crimean Tatar activists charged after they each staged peaceful, individual demonstrations across multiple locations in the Russia-occupied Crimean peninsula, Oksana Pokalchuk, Amnesty International Ukraine’s Executive Director, said:

“The occupying Russian authorities push ever further the limits of their remorseless reprisals against the Crimean Tatar minority, this time by pursuing scores of peaceful Crimean Tatar activists en masse.

“So-called ‘single person picketing’ does not require prior authorization by the authorities and so this protest – though carefully choreographed across many locations - was entirely legal. The Russian authorities are simply sweeping up anyone who participated in order to punish them for daring to speak out.

“The persecution of Crimean Tatars is not new. Russian authorities have already forcibly exiled or jailed Crimean Tatar leaders, banned their representative body, Mejlis, and stifled the Crimean Tatar-language media. With this latest move they are aiming to shut down individuals’ expressions of dissent and deprive them of the right to voice their dissatisfaction.” [Read more]