Ukraine hopes summit will highlight Russian rights abuses in Crimea
By Olga Tokariuk
Kiev, Aug 22 (EFE).- As Ukraine prepares for the Crimea Platform summit, which will bring together representatives from 45 countries in Kyiv on Monday, relatives of persecuted Crimean Tatars and imprisoned journalists hope the event will help draw international attention to rights violations on the peninsula.
According to the Ukrainian government, more than 100 people have been imprisoned in Russia since the annexation of Crimea in 2014 in cases that Kiev considers politically motivated.
Eighty percent of those prosecuted are Crimean Tatars, representatives of the peninsula’s indigenous population.
ACCUSED OF TERRORISM
“They knocked on our door at 6 in the morning. Armed men in balaclavas broke into our house, smashing windows,” Mumine Saliyeva tells Efe as she remembers the day when Russian secret service (FSB) agents arrested her husband four years ago.
Saliyeva’s husband was accused of involvement in the Hizb ut-Tahrir organization, which was declared a terrorist organization in Russia in 2003. It is not banned in Ukraine or in several European countries.
After an investigation that lasted more than two years, the man was sentenced to 16 years in a high-security prison.
HISTORY REPEATS ITSELF
Last August 16, four Crimean Tatars were again sentenced to 12 to 18 years in prison in Russia, sparking criticism in Ukraine and the European Union.