EDSO dalībvalstu diplomāti raksa vēstules Krievijas Federācijas ieslodzījuma vietās esošajiem politieslodzītajiem no Krimas
Photo: Permanent representation to the UN, OSCE and other international organizations in Vienna

On 30 April 2024, in Vienna, Austria, the Permanent Representation of the Republic of Latvia to the UN, the OSCE and other international organisations in Vienna held an event in which diplomats from OSCE Member States wrote letters to political prisoners from Crimea in the Russian Federation prisons. With this event, Latvia supports Ukraine’s international solidarity campaign of “Letters to Free Crimea”, which runs from 19 February to 19 May. Participation in the campaign is a testament to Latvia’s strong support for Ukraine and its independence, sovereignty and territorial unity within internationally recognised borders. 

Starptautiskās solidaritātes kampaņas “Vēstules brīvai Krimai” (Letters to Free Crimea) materiāli
Photo: Permanent representation to the UN, OSCE and other international organizations in Vienna

The “Letter to Free Crimea” initiative aims to compose and send letters to the Crimean political prisoners, who have been arrested or convicted for supporting Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity or resisting the Russian occupation.

Prisoners are often held in inhumane conditions where they are denied basic human rights – communication with family or lawyers, access to medical assistance – and are being subjected to torture. For political prisoners from Crimea kept in Russian prisons, each letter from the outside world brings hope and psychological strength to overcome the severe conditions. At the same time, these letters send a message to prison authorities that the international community is following the fates of prisoners.

According to the Mission of the President of Ukraine to the Crimean Autonomous Republic, there are 208 political prisoners from Crimea in the territory of Russia, 125 of whom are Crimean Tatars.