The European Parliament Thursday urged Moscow to free Ukrainian "political prisoners" linked to the situation in Crimea without delay.
The MEP called on Russia "to release without further delay all illegally and arbitrarily detained Ukrainian citizens, both in Russia and in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine," a resolution said.
The strongly worded resolution, overwhelmingly approved by MEPs, marked the three-year anniversary of Moscow's March 2014 takeover of the strategic Black Sea peninsula.
The document expressed "concern over the many credible reports of cases of disappearances, torture, and systemic intimidation of local citizens opposed to the annexation of Crimea."
The lawmakers meeting in Strasbourg, France said Crimea's Tatar minority and heritage "seem to be prime targets for repressions."
The resolution also singled out the transfer of detainees "to distant regions of Russia," a policy which was in breach of Russian legislation, the MEPs said.
The measure comes after EU governments prolonged sanctions against Russian and Ukrainian individuals for another six months Monday over their role in the Ukraine crisis.
Another set of sanctions specifically linked to Russia's annexation of Crimea, were rolled over for a year in June 2016.
The EU has imposed a whole series of punitive measures over Ukraine where the Minsk ceasefire accords brokered by France and Germany with Kiev, Moscow and the rebels repeatedly fail to hold.
The fall of Crimea into Russian hands in 2014 was a frightening event for Crimean Tatars, as it would signal an end to the freedom they enjoyed within Ukrainian territory with regard to Russian provocations against the Crimean Tatar minority in the annexed territory.
Amid mounting pressure from Russia, Crimean Tatar leaders Mustafa Dzhemilev and Refat Chubarov refused to give up their rights while resisting the Russian annexation in the Crimean peninsula.
Russians make up the vast majority in Crimea, with 5 million ethnic Russians residing in the Ukrainian part of Novorossiya.
The mass deportation of Crimean Tatars in 1944 under the Soviet Union also led many to fear Russian policies.
Please click to read our informative text prepared pursuant to the Law on the Protection of Personal Data No. 6698 and to get information about the cookies used on our website in accordance with the relevant legislation.
6698 sayılı Kişisel Verilerin Korunması Kanunu uyarınca hazırlanmış aydınlatma metnimizi okumak ve sitemizde ilgili mevzuata uygun olarak kullanılan çerezlerle ilgili bilgi almak için lütfen tıklayınız.