Crimean Tatar leader sentenced to 8 years

MINSK, Belarus

MINSK, Belarus (AP) — A court in Russia-annexed Crimea has sentenced a leader of the region’s Tatars to eight years in a labor colony on a charge of organizing a riot in the crisis of 2014.

Akhtem Chiygoz was deputy chairman of the Mejlis, a representative body for the Tatars, an ethnic group of Turkic origin. The Mejlis was outlawed by Russia after it took control of Crimea.

Chiygoz was convicted in connection with a demonstration by thousands of Tatars in the Crimean capital, Simferopol, as fears grew that Russia would try to annex the peninsula from Ukraine in the wake of protests in Kiev that drove out the Russia-friendly Ukrainian president.

Russia sent troops to Crimea and declared annexation about three weeks later.

Amnesty International on Monday said his trial was a sham.

Categories: International News