Crimea: Authorities Detain Leading Tatar Activist
In response to the detention of Ilmi Umerov, a leading figure in the Crimean Tatar national movement who was forcibly transferred to a psychiatric ward for evaluation, Freedom House issued the following statement:
“Authorities in Crimea should immediately investigate the wholly unwarranted detention of Ilmi Umerov,” said Robert Herman, vice president for Emergency Assistance Programs and Multilateral Advocacy. “Persecution of Crimean Tatar culture remains pervasive inside the peninsula, and this trumped up detention hearkens back to the Soviet-era practice of silencing dissidents by confining them in psychiatric hospitals.”
On August 18, Umerov, the former deputy chairman of the Mejlis and leading Crimean Tatar activist, was forcibly admitted to a psychiatric clinic after nearly six months detention. He was held on a charge of “separatism” for making public statements opposing Moscow’s seizure of Crimea.
Other political prisoners from Crimea, including Mykola Karpiuk and Stanislav Klykh, have reportedly been forced to undergo invasive psychiatric procedures for authorities to extract false testimony.
Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.