Türkiye voices concern over prison sentence of Crimean Tatars

The Foreign Ministry expressed "concern" on prison sentences of 13 years against Türkiye's Crimean Tatar kinsmen Cemil Gafarov, Servet Gaziyev, Erfan Osmanov, Alim Karimov and Seyran Murtaza.

"We reiterate our support to Crimean Tatars' right to live freely and safely in their homelands and expect the necessary steps to be taken to ensure that all our kinsmen, who are imprisoned in Crimea for similar political reasons, including the Deputy Speaker of the Crimean Tatar Mejlis Neriman Celal, Aziz Ahmetov and Asan Ahmetov, are immediately freed and reunited with their families," said the statement on Jan. 11.

Gaziyev, Gafarov, Osmanov, Karimov and Murtaza were detained by Russia in March 2019.

A Russian court issued verdicts on Jan. 11 in the case of the so-called "second Simferopol group of Hizb ut-Tahrir" and sentenced them to 13 years in prison.

Russian forces entered the Crimean Peninsula in February 2014, and in March formally annexed the region - a move that Türkiye, the U.N. General Assembly, the U.S. and the EU, all view as illegal.

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