10:10 29 Apr 2023

Ukraine launches "Letters to a free Crimea" initiative to support Crimean political prisoners

Фото: Представництво Президента України в Автономній Республіці Крим

On April 27, the "Letters to a free Crimea" initiative was launched in Ukraine, the purpose of which is to write a message to illegally imprisoned Ukrainians who are kept on the occupied peninsula or deported to the Russian Federation.

What is the problem?

Russia illegally annexed Crimea back in 2014. Since then, all those who do not agree with the policy of the Russian Federation have been persecuted by the law enforcement agencies of the aggressor country.

Often, pro-Ukrainian people who don't obey dictatorial power are arrested and given unjust sentences. Unfortunately, many political prisoners simply disappear, and nothing is known about their whereabouts.

What is the solution?

The "Letters to a Free Crimea" initiative was launched in Ukraine with the support of the PEN Club and the ZMINA Human Rights Center.

The campaign will last from April 27 to May 27. During the month, the organizers – the Mission of the President in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, PEN Ukraine, and ZMINA – will collect letters and deliver them to the places of illegal detention of Crimean political prisoners.

The purpose of the Letters to a Free Crimea initiative is to remind of the Ukrainian prisoners of the Kremlin and to demonstrate that they are interested in and cared about.

How does it work?

A large number of letters is also an important message for prison administrations that a person cannot be injured or killed because it will immediately become known to the public, so the organizers urge as many people as possible to join the campaign.

These are someone's husbands and wives, sons and daughters, brothers and sisters. They are someone's close friends. Two of mine – Nariman Dzhelial and Server Mustafayev – received almost maximum sentences on falsified charges. They are worthy sons of their people, talented journalists, good and honest people, emphasizes the Permanent Representative of the President of Ukraine in the AR of Crimea Tamila Tasheva.

Anyone who wants to take part in the initiative can send letters to a physical address or online from April 27 to May 27.

Physical address (sending at the sender's expense): Human Rights Information Center, PO Box B-539, Kyiv, 01001

Email: [email protected]

Instructions for writing letters can be found here. When writing your letter, please indicate to which political prisoner you are addressing it. The list contains only those addressees whose location is known to us, which makes it possible to deliver the letters.

Organisers of the initiative: Mission of the President in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, PEN Ukraine, Human Rights Centre ZMINA

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