ROSTOV-ON-DON (QHA) -

A representative of the Ukrainian consulate in Rostov-on-Don was able to visit Crimean Tatar Ruslan Zeytullayev illegally imprisoned for 15 years, the Speaker of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Mariana Betsa stated in a commentary to QHA.

According to her, Zeytullaev intends to continue the hunger strike as a sign of protest.

“After almost two years of persistent attempts, the Consul still visited Zeytullaev. His position is firm - to continue the hunger strike in protest against politically motivated persecution and imprisonment. I can not yet tell you the details. If they emerge, we'll report later," Betza said.

The lawyer Emil Kurbedinov told QHA, that on the tenth day of the hunger strike Ruslan Zeytullayev lost 3,700 kg and now, in his opinion, the political prisoner is in critical condition.

"It's been twelve days since the hunger strike started. After the tenth day, as we remember from his two previous hunger strikes, Ruslan was in a critical phase, when he could no longer stand up and hardly spoke. Therefore, I suppose that now he is in the same condition," the lawyer said.

According to Kurbedinov, the last time Ruslan sustained a hunger strike in 23 days, which has greatly affected his health.

Earlier QHA reported that, on July 27 the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation sentenced Ukrainian political prisoner Ruslan Zeytullayev to 15 years of imprisonment with restriction of freedom for a year after serving his sentence.

On the same day, at a meeting of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation, Ruslan Zeytullaev announced an indefinite hunger strike demanding that Valeria Lutkovskaya, the Human Rights Commissioner of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, and the representative of the Consulate General of Ukraine, Russian human rights activists and journalists, were allowed to the pre-trial detention center of Rostov.

Reference: January 23, 2015 four Crimean Muslims were detained in the Crimea for the alleged involvement in the organization "Hizb ut-Tahrir", which is recognized terrorist in Russia. Since June 1, 2016, their case has been considered in the North Caucasus District Military Court.

Ruslan Zeytullayev was sentenced to seven years in prison, Ferat Sayfullaev, Rustem Vaitov and Yuri Primov were sentenced to five years' imprisonment. All of them must serve their sentences in the colony of the general regime.
December 27, 2016, the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation quashed the verdict against the Crimean Tatar Ruslan Zeytullaev and forwarded the case for revision to the North District Military Court of Rostov, thereby satisfying the complaint of the prosecution claiming that Zeytullayev was allegedly the organizer of the Hizb ut-Tahrir cell in the Crimea and required to charge the Crimean Tatar under Part 1 of Art. 205.5 of the Russian Federation Criminal Code (providing from 15 to 20 years imprisonment) instead of Part 2 of Art. 205.5 of the Criminal Code.
 
PHOTO: Crimea.Realii

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