The EU today issued a statement on the situation in the Crimean peninsula after Volodymyr Balukh was given a three-year prison sentence on 16 January. Balukh, known to have opposed the illegal annexation of the peninsula by the Russian Federation, was sentenced to three years and seven months in a penal colony by a court in Crimea, whose jurisdiction the EU does not recognise.
The EU statement also referred to another recent detention – of Crimean Tatar activist Bekir Dehermendzhy, who was detained on 23 November 2017 in Simferopol on “dubious charges”. “In view of the critical medical condition he suffers, it is essential that he is immediately granted access to appropriate medical care,” the statement said.
“International human rights observers must be granted full, free and unhindered access to the peninsula, and the European Union expects all illegally-detained Ukrainian citizens in the illegally-annexed Crimean peninsula and in Russia to be released as swiftly as possible,” the statement continued.
“The European Union remains committed to fully implementing its policy of non-recognition of the illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol.”
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