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UK flays Russia’s ‘human rights violations’ in Crimea, Ukraine

OSCE flags. Photo: UK government

London, May 20 (MNN) The UK on Thursday condemned what it called the Russia’s “ongoing violation of human rights in illegally annexed Crimea and persecution of Crimean Tatars in particular”.

It said that May 18 marked the 77th anniversary of the erstwhile Soviet Union’s campaign to forcibly deport the Tatars from their ancestral homeland in Crimea.

“Over 2,00,000 people were deported from the peninsular and more than 1,00,000 Crimean Tatars died due to starvation, mass diseases, abuse and hard labour. We remember the thousands of innocents who lost their lives and all those who endured great suffering as a result of this horrific action,” Nicola Murray, Deputy Head of the UK delegation to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, said.

“Sadly, the persecution of the Crimean Tatar community is not just a historical event. Today, in illegally annexed Crimea, Crimean Tatars are systematically persecuted by the Russian de facto authorities; subject to frequent intimidation, house raids, and arbitrary arrests. These are transparent attempts to suppress dissent to Russia’s illegal annexation of the peninsular and it must stop.”

She also called on Russia to free all Ukrainian political prisoners and expressed support to Ukraine in condemning “unacceptable Russian aggression against Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, as well as against the Ukrainian people”.

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