BRUSSELS, Jan 31 (KUNA) -- The European Union said Tuesday that the deterioration of the human rights situation in the Crimean Peninsula since its illegal annexation by Russia has been consistently raised by Brussels.
"In particular, the rights of the Crimean Tatars have been gravely violated through the banning of the activities of the Mejlis, their self-governing body, by labelling it "an extremist organisation," said Maja Kocijancic, a spokesperson for EU High Representative Fedrica Mogherini in a statement.
She noted that the recent extremism charges against the Deputy Chairman of the Mejlis, Ilmi Umerov is another example of the persecution of its leaders and called for these charges be dropped.
The statement said the administrative detention of human rights lawyer Emil Kurbedinov on 26 January in Simferopol, Crimean Peninsula, "continues a worrying trend of increasingly frequent attacks on the vital work conducted by human rights defenders to protect the rights of Crimean Tatars.
"The European Union remains committed to fully implement its policy of non-recognition of the illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol. We fully support the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Ukraine," stressed the statement.
In a separate statement, the spokesperson said that the intense fighting around Avdiivka in Eastern Ukraine in the last few days, involving heavy shelling leading to a considerable number of casualties, is a blatant violation of the ceasefire, as stipulated by the Minsk agreements.
The EU called for the fighting to stop immediately. (end) nk.ibi