Crimean Tatar leaders Ilmi Umerov and Akhtem Chiygoz were unexpectedly released from custody in their Russian-occupied homeland in October. Both are deputy chairmen of the Mejlis, the Crimean Tatar self-governing body that has been outlawed by Russian authorities. Immediately after their release, they were flown to Turkey on October 25, thanks partly to an intervention by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. They have vowed to return to Crimea to campaign for the release of other prisoners. Kateryna Nekrecha, a correspondent with
RFE/RL's Crimea Realities service, spoke with Chiygoz about his detention.