"February 26 became for all of us a symbol of resistance to the Russian occupation, which has been going on for nine years. It was on this day in 2014 that a mass rally in support of the territorial integrity of Ukraine, organized by the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people, took place near the Crimean parliament in Simferopol," Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights Dmytro Lubinets posted on Telegram on the Day of Resistance to the Occupation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and City of Sevastopol.
Due to the constant fear of Ukrainian resistance, Russia does not stop harsh repression and persecution of Ukrainian citizens in the temporarily occupied Crimea: illegal searches, trumped-up criminal cases, fabricated sentences, in particular against representatives of the indigenous people of the peninsula – the Crimean Tatars, the Ombudsman said.
Currently, the Russian Federation illegally holds 180 political prisoners, 116 of them are Crimean Tatars. "The recent death of two tortured political prisoners – Kostiantyn Shyring and Dzhemil Hafarov – in the Kremlin's cells, was Russia’s flagrant violation of fundamental human rights and norms of international law. They were not provided with the necessary medical care," Lubinets emphasized.
But even paying such a high price for the right to live in a free, independent, and sovereign state will not stop the Ukrainian people, the Ombudsman believes. "Standing together, we resist Russian armed aggression and defend our homeland," he stressed.