09/08/2016, 09.22
RUSSIA - UKRAINE
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Crimean Tatar leader Ilmi Umerov released

The activist had been hospitalized in a psychiatric clinic under court order, where he spent three weeks despite his serious health condition. Lawyers: the next step is to obtain the removal of separatism charges against him.

 

The activist had been hospitalized in a psychiatric clinic under court order, where he spent three weeks despite his serious health condition. Lawyers: the next step is to obtain the removal of separatism charges against him.

Moscow (AsiaNews) - The Russian authorities have released Ilmi Umerov (see photo), leader of the movement for Crimean Tatars’ rights. He had been forced to a three-week interment in a hospital for the mentally ill in Simferopol, on court order, which imposed a psychiatric evaluation.

Umerov - 59 years, suffering from diabetes and Parkinson's - is also the deputy chairman of Mejlis - the representative body of the Crimean Tatars, banned this year by the local Prosecutor's Office on charges of "extremist activities."

The authorities of Black Sea peninsula - annexed by Moscow, two years ago - accuse him of "public appeals to separatism", for an interview with the ATR channel, in which he called for Russia to leave Crimea.

September 7, one of his lawyers, Mark Feigin, was the first to break the news that Umerov had been discharged. "His release is just one part of the defense tasks. Now we have to obtain the removal of the charges against him under art.280.1 of the Russian Criminal Code, "wrote the lawyer on Facebook.

According to the Human Rights NGO, the article in question was introduced in March 2015 specifically to prosecute those who speak against the fact that the Crimea is now Russian territory. The Umerov case, whose health conditions have worsened during hospitalization, drew criticism from Kiev and Brussels and prompted the community of Tatars - a Muslim ethnic minority (about 15% of the population in Crimea) - to gather in prayer for and rally in support of their leader. His daughter Ayshe, during the forced hospitalization, had denounced Russia’s recourse to the Soviet style use of punitive medicine against dissidents. (MA)

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