Valeria Lutkovska visited Crimea, accompanied by her Russian counterpart, the Human Rights Commissioner in the Russian Federation Tatyana Moskalkova, the lawyer Nikolay Polozov reported on his Facebook page.

“Today in the detention center in Simferopol, a meeting of the Ukrainian Ombudsmen with Ahtem Chiygoz was held in my presence and in the presence of the Ahtem Chiygoz’s wife who is a defender in his criminal case. The meeting lasted for about an hour. Despite the impressive group of attendants, they all left behind the doors of the investigative office and the meeting was held in private,” Polozov wrote.

A number of important issues were raised during the meeting. The Deputy Chairman of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people Ahtem Chiygoz drew attention of the Ombudsman to the repression against the Crimean Tatars. The obviously disproportionate aggression and rigidity on the part of law enforcement agencies in conducting searches and detentions was discussed as well. Particular attention was drawn to the obligation of the Russian Federation in accordance with the Geneva Convention of 1949, to ensure the security of the population living in the occupied territory, that is the Ukrainians and Crimean Tatars, who express the opinion different from the one of the actual powers of the Crimea and the Russian Federation.

Another important matter discussed was citizenship of Ahtem Chiygoz and citizenship issues in the Crimea in general. Extending the detention period for Ahtem Chiygoz, the prosecution invariably points to the fact of his Ukrainian citizenship and, accordingly, Ukrainian passport. However, in other cases the Russian authorities refer to the article of the Federal Constitutional Law of 21.03.2014, "On including the Republic of Crimea to the Russian Federation and the formation of new entities of the Russian Federation - the Republic of Crimea and the federal city of Sevastopol", according to which persons permanently residing in the Crimea are granted Russian citizenship, regardless of their desire.

They discussed the possibility of an independent medical examination of Ahtem Chiygoz in a civilian medical facility outside the prison, as well as changing his preventive measure to non-custodial dictated by humanitarian considerations.

Ahtem Chiygoz raised the issue of the extradition of the convicted citizens of Ukraine on the territory of Ukraine.

“Most of them, though, they had been convicted of a crime, are now much greater patriots of their country, than many of those traitors who walk free both in the Crimea and in Ukraine,” Chiygoz said.

Deputy Chairman of the Mejlis drew attention to the fact that the law enforcement bodies of Russia in the Crimea fail to take statements and investigate into the cases of pressure on his wife and assassination attempts, taken by the unknown persons this summer. Against the background of abductions and assassinations mostly against the Crimean Tatars, continuing in the Crimea for almost three years, Ahtem Chiygoz considers any illegal actions against his relatives as more than a reasonable threat.

Nikolai Polozov informed the Ombudsman Tatiana Moskalkova about the pressure on lawyers and on him personally, expressed in the repeated extension of pre-investigation by the Investigative Committee as well as pressure by the FSB, intending to question him as a witness on the matters known to him due to the legal assistance the lawyer provided to Ilmi Umerov. The latter has especially angered Tatiana Moskalkova, and she asked to forward a statement on the matter to her and promised to take it under control.

Moreover, the process of "February 26" was touched upon. Chiygoz stressed that the actions of the protesters, the speakers for the unity of Ukraine, were aimed at preserving the country's territorial integrity and that the rally was held peacefully, without weapons, in accordance with the Constitution of Ukraine and the requirements of the legislation.

After meeting with Ahtem Chiygoz, the Ombudsmen Moskalkova and Lutkovska met with two other political prisoners in the "February 26" case Ali Asanov and Mustafa Degermendzhi. As it became known today, the "court" decided to extend their period of detention in custody until April 7, 2017.
Lawyer Polozov expressed confidence that this is not the last visit of Valeria Lutkovska to the Crimea.

Earlier QHA reported that yesterday, the actual "authorities" of the Russia-occupied Crimea allowed the Ukrainian Ombudsman Valeria Lutkovska to meet three of the 42 political prisoners held on the peninsula.