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Five judges working in occupied Crimea sentenced to prison for treason

by Nate Ostiller October 30, 2023 6:32 PM 2 min read
The Crimean Tatar flag flies outside the Kyiv City State Administration building on Crimean Tatar Flag Day, on June 26, 2023. (Kirill Chubotin / Ukrinform/Future Publishing via Getty Images)
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Five judges working in Russian-occupied Crimea were found guilty of treason and sentenced in absentia to at least 12 years in prison, the Prosecutor's Office of Crimea reported on Oct. 30.

The judges were convicted of working with Russian occupying forces after the illegal Russian annexation of Crimea and presiding over legal actions taken against locals who opposed the occupation.

In particular, the judges illegally ruled against protesters who came out in support of the Crimean Tatar leader and Ukrainian politician Mustafa Dzhemiliev, whom Russian occupying forces banned from entering the peninsula. The protesters received administrative punishments.

Through actions such as these, the judges "contributed to the establishment and strengthening of the occupying power" in Crimea.

Russia has cracked down on Crimean Tatars, banning the Mejlis, their representative body, and jailing activists and political leaders.

Ukrainian courts have routinely sentenced both Russians and Ukrainian collaborators in absentia for their role in crimes committed in Ukraine.

Tamila Tasheva, the permanent representative of the President of Ukraine in Crimea, said in January 2023 that investigating and punishing collaborators should be one of the Ukrainian government's top priorities once the peninsula is liberated.

She emphasized that this should only apply to those who actively collaborated, not those who simply continued living under occupation and may have continued to work in some form for the occupying authorities, such as low-level administrators or public servants.

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