On 19 April, the Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs reiterated in a meeting with Refat Chubarov, the leader of Crimean Tatars, that Latvia remains firm in the non-recognition of the illegal and illegitimate annexation of Crimea and strongly advocates Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. The Foreign Minister noted that Latvia has been closely following the human rights situation in Crimea and voices concern at the negative trend, especially the restrictions on human rights and fundamental freedoms of Crimean Tatars observed since the annexation of the Crimean Peninsula by Russia.
Refat Chubarov expressed appreciation of Latvia’s position on the issue of the annexation of Crimea and thanked Latvia for its support for Ukraine. The leader of the Crimean Tatars also informed the Foreign Minister about developments in Crimea and Ukraine. Refat Chubarov voiced particular concern about human rights violations targeting Crimean Tatars, members of the opposition, human rights activists, journalists and lawyers, who are arbitrarily detained and persecuted.
During the conversation, the Foreign Minister called on the leader of Crimean Tatars to continue providing information to international organisation concerning the situation of Crimean Tatars and human rights violations in Crimea. Edgars Rinkēvičs emphasised that Latvia will speak up for keeping these issues high on the international agenda and urge to condemn the application in the Crimean territory of the legislation of Russia as an occupying power and persistent restrictions on the fundamental rights of Crimean population.
Refat Chubarov is the President of the World Congress of Crimean Tatars and the Chairman of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People.
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