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Supporters Of Jailed Crimean Tatar Leader Rally In Kyiv

Supporters of jailed Crimean Tatar leader Akhtem Chiygoz held a rally in Kyiv’s Independence Square demanding that he be released by Russian authorities. The September 13 protest came two days after a court in Ukraine's Russian-controlled Crimea region sentenced Chyigoz to eight years in prison. Chyigoz was found guilty of organizing an illegal demonstration in Crimea in February 2014 as Russian military forces were seizing the Ukrainian territory. (Serhiy Korovayniy, RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service)


Supporters hold a sign saying "Freedom for Akhtem Chyigoz, a prisoner of the FSB", Russia's Federal Security Service.  
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Supporters hold a sign saying "Freedom for Akhtem Chyigoz, a prisoner of the FSB", Russia's Federal Security Service.
 

A portrait of Akhtem Chiygoz. He is the deputy chairman of the Majlis, the Crimean Tatar assembly that was outlawed by Russia after it occupied and seized control of the Black Sea peninsula.
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A portrait of Akhtem Chiygoz. He is the deputy chairman of the Majlis, the Crimean Tatar assembly that was outlawed by Russia after it occupied and seized control of the Black Sea peninsula.

The head of the Crimean Tatar assembly, the Mejlis, Refat Chubarov, reads a statement to supporters from Akhtem Chiygoz.
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The head of the Crimean Tatar assembly, the Mejlis, Refat Chubarov, reads a statement to supporters from Akhtem Chiygoz.

About 200 supporters of Akhtem Chiygoz gathered in Kyiv's Independence Square on September 13 holding banners calling for his release. They said the court case against the prominent Crimean Tatar leader was politically motivated.
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About 200 supporters of Akhtem Chiygoz gathered in Kyiv's Independence Square on September 13 holding banners calling for his release. They said the court case against the prominent Crimean Tatar leader was politically motivated.

The September 13 demonstration brought together representatives of civil rights organizations, human rights activists, and members of the Crimean Tatar community.
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The September 13 demonstration brought together representatives of civil rights organizations, human rights activists, and members of the Crimean Tatar community.

Ukrainian Muslim leader, Mufti Said Ismagilov, leading prayers for Akhtem Chiygoz.  
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Ukrainian Muslim leader, Mufti Said Ismagilov, leading prayers for Akhtem Chiygoz.
 

Amnesty International called the court case against Akhtem Chiygoz a "sham trial." The U.S. State Department said the United States was "deeply troubled" by Chiygoz’s conviction, calling it "the latest in a long line of politically motivated legal actions against the Mejlis and its leadership."
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Amnesty International called the court case against Akhtem Chiygoz a "sham trial." The U.S. State Department said the United States was "deeply troubled" by Chiygoz’s conviction, calling it "the latest in a long line of politically motivated legal actions against the Mejlis and its leadership."

A young supporter of Akhtem Chiygoz. The majority of Crimean Tatars oppose Russia's takeover of their historic homeland.
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A young supporter of Akhtem Chiygoz. The majority of Crimean Tatars oppose Russia's takeover of their historic homeland.

Moscow has been criticized by international rights groups and Western governments for its treatment of the region's indigenous Turkic-speaking Crimean Tatar minority.
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Moscow has been criticized by international rights groups and Western governments for its treatment of the region's indigenous Turkic-speaking Crimean Tatar minority.

Court officials in Simferopol have also resumed the trial of another Mejlis deputy chairman, Ilmi Umerov.
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Court officials in Simferopol have also resumed the trial of another Mejlis deputy chairman, Ilmi Umerov.

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