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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Human rights in illegally annexed Crimea: UK statement

UK Deputy Ambassador Deirdre Brown condemns human rights violations by Russia in illegally annexed Crimea, including the recent detention of 5 Crimean Tatars.

16 September 2021


Thank you Chair. The UK remains deeply concerned by human rights violations Russia continues to commit in illegally annexed Crimea.

The UK condemns the detention of the 5 Crimean Tatars – Eldar Odamanov, Aziz Akhtemov, Asan Akhtemov, Shevket Useinov and Deputy Head of the Mejlis of Crimean Tatars, Nariman Dzhelal – on 3 and 4 September, following raids on their homes. We are particularly concerned by reports that Mr Dzhelal has been subject to psychological pressure, held with a sack over his head and detained in solitary confinement with insufficient space.

We are appalled by Russia's targeting of the Crimean Tatar community, with a recent surge of house searches, arrests and sentencings. It is unacceptable that Russia continues to target ethnic and religious minorities and those who oppose its illegal annexation. At least 118 Ukrainian political prisoners remain in detention in Crimea and Russia.

We join international partners in calling on Russia to immediately release these five individuals and all Ukrainian political prisoners held in Crimea and Russia, and to grant access to international human rights monitoring missions. No one should be imprisoned for their political beliefs.

I take this opportunity to reiterate the UK's unwavering support of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognised borders, including its territorial waters. We do not and will not recognise Russia's illegal annexation of Crimea. Crimea is Ukraine.

Thank you Chair.

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