Four criminal cases were initiated against citizens of Ukraine living in the Crimea over expressing their opinions and views. Their figurants are journalist Nikolai Semena, Deputy Chairman of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people Ilmi Umerov, a member of the regional Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people in Feodosia Suleiman Kadyrov and a resident of Simferopol Natalia Kharchenko. All cases are initiated under Article 280 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (public calls for extremist activities) and may result in deprivation of liberty for up to 4-5 years. The corresponding information was provided in the monitoring survey of freedom of speech and expression in the Crimea for the first quarter of 2017, by the Center for Information on Human Rights.
A number of other violations of freedom of speech and expression in the occupied peninsula were recorded as well, including interrogations, searches, detentions, denial of access to information, a ban on filming and other cases of pressure on journalists and bloggers.
In addition, according to the Center for Information on Human Rights, as of the end of March 2017, 10 Internet publications are still blocked on the territory of the Crimea: "Crimea.Realii", "Journalistic Investigations Center", "Blackseanews.net", 15 minutes, QHA , Crimea-SOS, Ukrainskaya Pravda, Gromadske radio, UAinfo, site of the STB TV channel. At the same time, during the verification it was established that previously unavailable sites "Crimean events", "Observer", "Apostrophe" and "Censor.net" were unblocked.
Reference: The Human Rights Information Center is a public organization aiming to promote human rights, the rule of law and the ideas of civil society in Ukraine. Registered by the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine on August 15, 2012.