On Wednesday evening, October 25, the Deputy Chairmen of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people Ilmi Umerov and Akhtem Chiygoz on the air of the Aqşam programme on the ATR TV channel, said they did not know about their release, and thanked all those involved in this victory.
According to Akhtem Chiygoz, the events of October 25 became a surprise for him, as recently he had no hope for release.
“I commend all the Ukrainian people and the President of Ukraine, the President of Turkey for this unexpected release. We had no hope for that, and generally, I understood that I had to serve the full sentence of 8 years, because in my situation any other options were not available," Chiygoz said.
He stressed that during his time in the remand center, Russian special services repeatedly offered him release in exchange for admission of guilt.
“Since my arrest, I have received many proposals, quite vile ones, from my point of view, and from the point of view of a normal person. If I wanted to be released in this way, I would not have stayed there for almost a year," Akhtem Chiygoz said, noting that he did not sign the petition for pardon from the Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Ilmi Umerov echoed his colleague’s comment and thanked all those involved in his release. Umerov said that he intends to continue the struggle for the return of the occupied Crimea.
"I fully subscribe to what has been said by Akhtem, I thank the President of Turkey for such an initiative. For me it was a complete surprise that I found myself next to Akhtem, because I was under travel restrictions and was not deprived of liberty. All this time, a year and a half since the initiation of the criminal case, I was at home, traveled around the Crimea, participated in various events, talked with journalists. I continued all this, for me it was a little different than for Akhtem. He was released from jail, and I have to leave my homeland. Probably, some part of the time and struggle are destined to be transferred to the capital of Ukraine, to the mainland of the country. We'll have to live there and fight for the return of Crimea to Ukraine," Umerov said.
According to him, yesterday morning he was taken directly from the hospital room, where Umerov had been during the last few days. The Deputy Head of the Mejlis further noted that he and Chiygoz intend to leave Ankara to Kyiv as soon as possible.
Earlier, QHA informed, that on October 25, the Deputy Chairmen of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people Akhtem Chiygoz and Ilmi Umerov, previously convicted in the occupied Crimea, were extradited to Turkey.
Chyigoz and Umerov were first brought to Simferopol, and then transferred to Anapa by plane. The plane with representatives of Mejlis flew to Ankara at 13:37 local time.
Later information appeared that they arrived in Turkey.
The Head of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people Refat Chubarov said that Russia would go for correcting its criminal actions against Ukrainian political prisoners.
He noted that all political prisoners would be released, which would be the first step to correcting the situation.
President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko thanked Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for his efforts in freeing Chiygoz and Umerov.
Reference: The so-called Supreme Court of Crimea on September 11 fully supported the charge against the Deputy Chairman of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people Akhtem Chiygoz, which was requested by the prosecutor's office providing for 8 years of imprisonment.
September 27, the Simferopol district "court" convicted the Deputy Chairman of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people Ilmi Umerov. The occupying court found him guilty of separatism under article 280.1 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (Public calls for actions aimed at violating the territorial integrity of the Russian Federation) and sentenced him to 2 years in a colony-settlement and 2 years of a ban on public activities.
QHA reported that the transfer of Chyigoz and Umerov was made possible due to the negotiations between Turkey and Russia.