Human Rights Watch calls on Russian Federation to cancel ‘punitive psychiatry’ and free activist Ilmi Umerov

Дата: 26 August 2016
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Human Rights Watch has called on the Russian authorities to immediately release Deputy Chairman of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people Ilmi Umerov, who is now involuntarily held in a psychiatric hospital.

The statement is released on the HRW’s official website.

Umerov’s forced psychiatric confinement is an egregious violation of his rights,” said Tanya Cooper, Ukraine researcher at Human Rights Watch.

It’s also a shameful attempt to use psychiatry to silence him and tarnish his reputation, a popular practice against dissidents in the Soviet Union,” the human rights activist said.

Umerov should be allowed to continue medical treatment in a hospital, where he can get the care he requires,” Cooper said.

The authorities should also drop their trumped up charges of separatism against Umerov for his peaceful exercise of the right to freedom of speech,” she added.

Russian authorities should stop persecuting people who challenge Russia’s actions in Crimea. Umerov should not be punished for speaking his mind about Crimea and its future,” Cooper said

Umerov’s daughter, Ayshe Umerova, said she was not allowed to see her father the day he was moved. Umerov was also initially banned from seeing his lawyers, receiving packages, or using a telephone. Umerov’s daughter and his lawyers said they were very concerned about Umerov’s health because he was not receiving the medical care he needed for his heart condition. 

The action in support of Ilmi Umerov will take place at the Independence Square in Kyiv at 16:00 on August 26.

As reported, May 12, the FSB initiated criminal proceeding against Ilmi Umerov on charge of extremist activity. Russian secret service regarded Umerov’s interview on ATR TV channel as a public appeal to actions aimed at violating Russia’s territorial integrity. Umerov himself stated that his words on the program had been mistranslated.

August 18, he was transferred to the in-patient facility for forensic psychiatric examination No.9 for persons who are not in custody.

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