Europe News

U.S. calls on Russia to release Crimean dissident: State Dept

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States was “deeply troubled” by the conviction and jail sentence of a Crimean dissident opposed to Russia’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea and called on Tuesday for his release, the State Department said.

A Russian court last week found Crimean Tatar leader Ilmi Umerov guilty of separatism and sentenced him to two years in a prison colony.

“He was convicted for his opposition to Russia’s attempted annexation of Crimea and given a harsher sentence than the Russian occupation prosecutor requested,” the State Department said in a statement. “This compounds past injustices in the case, including his confinement for several weeks of punitive psychiatric treatment in 2016. We call on the Russian occupation authorities to immediately release Umerov and vacate his conviction.”

Reporting by Doina Chiacu; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama