Foreign Ministry demands invaders in Crimea stop persecuting Ciygoz

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Ukrinform
The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry has demanded that invaders in Crimea stop the persecution of a leader of the Crimean Tatar people, Ahtem Ciygoz, ministry spokesperson Mariana Betsa has said.

"Eight years [in prison] for patriotism... A pseudo prosecutor's office, pseudo courts. We are demanding that the occupiers stop the persecution of Ciygoz," she wrote on Twitter.

Ciygoz's lawyer, Nikolai Polozov, said on Monday that the Russian-controlled Supreme Court of Crimea had started a debate in the Ciygoz case. Prosecutors are demanding eight years in prison for Ciygoz.

Ciygoz, deputy chairman of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people, was detained in January 2015 for participating in a rally in support of the territorial integrity of Ukraine opposite the building of the Crimean parliament on February 26, 2014. The protesters were resisted by pro-Russian activists, including from the Russian Unity party, which was led by the current "head" of Crimea, Sergey Aksenov. The Russian authorities of the annexed Crimea accused Ciygoz of organizing mass riots during the rally.

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