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Leniye Umerova, Citizen of Ukraine and Crimean Tatar, Held Hostage by Russia Over 4 Months

Russia has been holding Ms.Leniye Umerova, a Crimean Tatar and a Ukrainian citizen, hostage for more than 4 months.

As reported by the CHRG, on December 4, 2022, Ms.Leniye Umerova, aged 25, had to leave Kyiv for the occupied Crimea because the health condition of her father suffering from cancer had worsened.

Ms.Umerova was detained by Russian security forces once she crossed the Georgian-Russian border, as it was said “for violating the rules of the regime zone”. Until March 16, Leniye was held in the Center for Temporary Detention of Foreign Citizens near Vladikavkaz. The Prigorodnyi District Court found the girl guilty of “violating the state border regime” (Code of Administrative Offenses of the Russian Federation, Article 18.1) and fined her RUR2,000.

On March 16, at night, Leniye was released from the Detention Center for Foreign Citizens. But, as the girl told later, a car with 4 men inside was waiting for her at the gate. They rushed her, put a bag on her head, brought her to a Vladikavkaz area she did not know, and left her there. Almost immediately she was detained by a police patrol. When she asked about the detention reasons, the policemen drew up a report on her for disobedience to the police. The Leninskiy District Court imposed an administrative punishment on her – 15 days of arrest.

While she was being held in the temporary holding facility, one more report – a similar one – was drawn up on her: it said that the girl had refused to give her mobile phone to the police. On March 27 the same court again sentenced her to 15 days of arrest. Leniye was moved to the temporary holding facility of Beslan City.

On April 9, a new report for disobedience to the police was drawn up on her. And on April 11, the Sovietskiy Court of Vladikavkaz again sentenced her to 15 days of arrest.

“These administrative arrests are just used to keep the girl in custody. They are gross violations, which obviously demonstrate the politically motivated persecution and falsification of administrative cases. I am afraid that with these administrative arrests, the girl is actually being held in captivity for the purpose of fabricating a criminal case,” Ms. Olha Skrypnyk, Head of CHRG Board, says.

“The only “crime” she committed was not getting a Russian passport, being a native of Crimea. Violating the norms of international law, the terrorist country is holding an innocent person, a 25-year-old girl, a citizen of Ukraine, hostage. I am calling on all concerned public activists, human rights organizations, and governmental authorities to contribute to releasing Leniye from captivity,” Aziz Umerov, her brother, addressed the public.

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