The leader of the Crimean Tatar people, Presidential Commissioner of Ukraine for Affairs of the Crimean Tatar people, Mustafa Dzhemilev, commented on Turkey’s participation in negotiations on the release of Ukrainian political prisoners kept in Russia and the occupied Crime to the QHA Turkish Bureau.
Dzhemilev confirmed that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan handed over a list of Ukrainian political prisoners to the Kremlin for their release, but Moscow has not responded yet.
“In 2017, with the mediation of the President of Turkey, we exchanged the Deputy Heads of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people Akhtem Chiygoz and Ilmi Umerov into two Russian criminals detained in Turkey. As far as I know, today there are no such Russians in Turkish prisons. I am very sorry that we had to exchange innocent people into intruders," Dzhemilev said, adding that he has no particular hope of releasing the prisoners of the Kremlin in this way.
According to the leader of the Crimean Tatar people, Russia does not release political prisoners from jails without receiving anything in return.
“During the week after the liberation of Chiygoz and Umerov, Russia detained another four people. It is not particularly difficult for Putin to send innocent people to jails.”
The Presidential Commissioner for the Affairs of the Crimean Tatar people said that the international community should extend sanctions against Russia until it abandons the occupation of Ukrainian lands.
“We are grateful for the sanctions, because we know very well how it affects the Russian economy. Russian experts acknowledge that Russia has suffered losses of $ 200 billion because of sanctions, and its economy is on the way to collapse.”
QHA reported, that President of Turkey Tayyip Recep Erdogan appealed to the leader of the Crimean Tatar people Mustafa Dzhemilev with a request to provide a list of Ukrainian political prisoners in prisons of Russia and the occupied Crimea.
Turkish embassy in Kyiv received this list in August. The list of political prisoners contains 99 names of people in places of deprivation of liberty who are under house arrest or travel restrictions, as well as those who have been imposed a fine on criminal proceedings.
Earlier, due to the Turkish President in October 2017, Deputy Heads of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatars, Akhtem Chiygoz and Ilmi Umerov, who were illegally detained by the Russian authorities in the occupied Crimea, were released from jail and extradited to Turkey.