The Verkhovna Rada’s Committee for Human Rights, National Minorities and Interethnic Relations has released a statement concerning an arrest warrant in absentia for Refat Chubarov, Mejlis Chairman and Ukrainian MP, issued by a Russian court.

Published on the Verkhovna Rada’s website on November 2, the statement says that 'an arrest warrant for Refat Chubarov is just another attempt of the occupants to settle scores with the ones who have been opposed to the lawlessness perpetrated in Crimea and Sevastopol ever since they came under Russian occupation’.

“Pro-Russian authorities in occupied Crimea are continuing unsuccessfully to try and undermine unity of Ukraine, obstruct restoration of Ukraine’s territorial integrity and prevent Crimea from re-entering Ukraine,” says the statement.

According to the statement, the puppet authorities in Crimea are trying to discredit self-governance bodies of Crimean Tatars, commit reprisals and discriminate against Ukrainian citizens, activists of Crimean Tatar national movement and Mejlis members, as well as fabricate criminal cases against Crimean civil activists.

Ukrainian political prisoners, such as Akhtem Chiygoz, Ali Asanov, Rustam Vaitov, Mustafa Degermendzhi, Ruslan Zeitullayev, Alexander Kolchenko, Nuri Primova, Ferat Saifullayeva and Oleg Sentsov, are still being held in Russian prisons.

The Committee urged Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko to do everything possible to defend the rights and freedoms of the Ukrainian citizens living in temporarily occupied Crimea and Sevastopol.

On October 28, Refat Chubarov published a warrant for his arrest in absentia on his Facebook page issued by Simferopol’s Kievsky District Court. Under the warrant, Chubarov is charged with crimes defined by Section 2 of Article 280.1 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (public incitement to actions aimed at breaching territorial integrity of the Russian Federation).

Refat Chubarov is also banned from entering Russia and occupied Crimea for 5 years.