KYIV (QHA) -

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) of Ukraine considers the trial held by Russian authorities with regard to Crimean Tatars - the participants of the peaceful rally in Simferopol on February 26, 2014 – to be a challenge to international law and international community, says a statement published on the Ministry’s website.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine strongly protests the beginning of the trial held by Russian authorities with regard to Crimean Tatars - the participants of the peaceful rally in Simferopol on February 26, 2014 – Ahtem Chiygoz, Ali Asanov, Mustafa Degermendzhy, Arsen Yunusov, Eskender Emirvaliev and Talyat Yunusov, who came out to defend their county and support the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine on that day. The reprisal of the occupation authorities against the defenders of the native land opposed to Russian aggressor is a cynical challenge to international law and international community,” reads the statement by the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry, published on Monday.

The Ministry noted that the policy of persecution of Crimean Tatars by the Russian occupying authority, violence against them and ill-treatment, the facts of forced deportation, restriction of rights to worship,  destruction of civil society organizations, and harassment of the media and journalists have turned Crimea into the island of fear and suffering of its indigenous people.

“Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine demands from Russia to cease the harassment of the Crimean Tatars representatives in the occupied Autonomous Republic of Crimea and immediately release illegally detained Ahtem Chiygozov, Ali Asanov, Mustafa Degermendzhy, Arsen Yunusov, Eskender Emirvaliev and Talyat Yunusov - the hostages of the occupation policy of the Russian Federation with regard to Ukraine,” says the statement of the Ministry. 

QHA