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Crimean Lawyer Released After Serving Five-Day Term For 2013 Social-Media Post


Crimea lawyer Emil Kurbedinov (file photo)

SIMFEROPOL -- Prominent Crimean lawyer Emil Kurbedinov has been released from jail after serving a five-day term.

A Russia-controlled court in Simferopol, Crimea, found Kurbedinov guilty on December 7 of propagating and publicly displaying symbols of an extremist organization. The charges pertained to a 2013 Facebook post made before Russian forces seized and subsequently annexed the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine.

The exact contents of the post were not immediately revealed.

Kurbedinov has called the accusation against him "absurd" and "a pressure" on him.

After his release from jail on December 11, he said he planned to travel to Moscow this week and visit his client Bohdan Nebylytsya -- one of 24 Ukrainians detained by Russian special forces on November 25 when three Ukrainian Navy ships were seized in the Sea of Azov.

Other clients of Kurbedinov in recent years have included defendants in Crimea charged in high-profile cases that human rights organizations and Western governments say are politically motivated.

Since Russia seized and annexed the Ukrainian peninsula in 2014, Moscow has conducted a persistent campaign of oppression that targets Crimeans who oppose the annexation.

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