Ukraine launched a probe against unlawful detention of 120 Crimean Tatars by Russian occupation authorities in Crimea.
Ukrainian law enforcement has opened criminal proceedings in response to the incident, the press service of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine reports.
Russian security operatives illegally detained 120 Ukrainians under the pretext of ID and car check, to prevent them from attending a court hearing in the "Hizb-ut Tahrir case" on January 11.
Ukrainian police have qualified the act as "illegal deprivation of liberty" and launched the relevant probe.
The Criminal Code provides for up to five years in prison for those found guilty of committing the said crime.
Earlier reports said the Russian State Traffic Inspectorateoperatives in the occupied Crimea had been unlawfully holding nearly 120 Crimean Tatars on the Kerch bridge for about nine hours.
The group were on their way to Rostov-on-Don to attend a court hearing in the Hizb ut-Tahrir group case where the verdict is expected to be announced.
A group of Crimean Tatars from Bakhchisarai, Staryi Krym, Sudak, Belogorsk, Dzhankoy, and Simferopol were blocked on the Kerch bridge. The traffic police took their IDs for verification and photographed their passports.
They were held at sub-zero temperatures with no hot drinks or food provided.
The defendants of the Belogorsk group in the so-called "Hizb-ut Tahrir case" are Enver Omerov, Riza Omerov and Ayder Dzhapparov. They were detained in the summer of 2019. The Russian prosecution demanded 19 years in prison for Enver Omerov and 13 years for his son Riza Omerov, as well as 18 years for Dzhapparov.