KYIV (QHA -

In 2017 as a result of the occupiers’ repression in the Crimea, another 16 political prisoners appeared in the peninsula, 15 of them are the Crimean Tatars. A member of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people Eskender Bariev made a corresponding statement at a press conference in Kyiv.

Last year victims of the occupation authorities on the peninsula were 4 people, among them was a veteran of the Crimean Tatar national movement Vedzhie Kashka, who died due to the Russian security forces. In total, during the annexation of Crimea 61 people were recognized as political prisoners, (38 of them are representatives of the indigenous people).

“We observe the systematic actions of the occupation structures. They conduct searches, summon for interrogations and carry out detentions. All this indicates that the Russian Federation is afraid of enhanced actions and it is trying to intimidate the people," Bariev said.

He further noted that in 2017, the occupiers in the Crimea moved from the practice of intensifying repression during significant events to constant pressure on the Crimean Tatars.

According to human rights activists, during the past year, the occupation authorities of the Crimea conducted 286 detentions (248 against the Crimean Tatars), 62 searches (61 at Crimean Tatars), interrogated 340 people (286 of them were Crimean Tatars) and arrested 46 Crimeans (including 42 Crimean Tatars).

Earlier QHA reported that the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Pavlo Klimkin during a meeting with the Head of the OSCE and Italian Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano stated the need for providing access to the Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) of the OSCE to the occupied Crimea.

QHA