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New wave of Russia’s politically motivated harassment of Crimean Tatars entails a tragic death in Crimea

On 23 November 2017, several elderly Crimean Tatars have been captured in the annexed Simferopol for the alleged large-scale extortion from a Turkish citizen. Being present at the place of arrest, a 82-year old veteran of the Crimean Tatar national movement Vedzhiye Kashka felt bad and lately died in the ambulance on the way to the hospital. Her death can be considered as a result of a heavy stress condition caused by the actions of occupational law-enforcement officers during the arrest.

These repressive actions have been accompanied by simultaneous searches in the houses of the detainees and a number of other Crimean Tatars who were brave enough to demonstrate their active civic position. There is plenty of evidence to suggest that occupational authorities are trying to fabricate criminal cases. Official comment of the MP Refat Chubarov on the issue is given here (in Russian and Ukrainian) – he believes that Tatars face a well-coordinated Russian operation to tarnish the reputation of the Mejlis and Crimean Tatar national movement.

UHHRU condemns ongoing illegal and cynical actions of the Russian occupation authorities in Crimea and call upon international community to protest against such practices and to take all possible measures for their immediate termination.

Oleksandr Pavlichenko, Executive Director of the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union

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