This was announced by Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert in a statement on Wednesday, Censor.NET reports.
"We are deeply troubled by the conviction and 8-year sentence handed down on September 10 in Crimea to the Deputy Head of the Crimean Tatar Mejlis, Akhtem Chiygoz, in connection with baseless charges related to a demonstration that took place before Russia's occupation even began.
"This is just the latest in a long line of politically-motivated legal actions against the Mejlis and its leadership, which is being targeted for its opposition to Russia's attempted annexation of Crimea," Nauert said.
Image by Ukrainian Embassy in Washington
On Sept. 11, the Supreme Court of Russia-occupied Crimea sentenced Chiygoz to eight years in prison.
Occupational court of Crimea declined political prisoner Chiygoz's request to see his dying mother
On Aug. 2, 2016 Russian-controlled Supreme Court of Crimea started to consider materially "the case of Feb. 26" against Akhtem Chiygoz. Earlier, on July 20, 2016, during hearing in camera, the court divided "the case of Feb. 26" into two separate cases: one against Akhtem Chiygoz and another against the rest of the defendants.
After Crimea was occupied by Russia, Kremlin puppets started trials against Crimean Tatar activists who participated in protests in support of Ukraine's territorial integrity. The events took place on Feb. 26, 2014. According to occupant authorities, two protesters were killed in a stampede, 79 people received injuries. Those detained in connection with the case - Akhtem Chiygoz, Ali Asanov, and Mustafa Degermendzhy - were named political prisoners by Russian Memorial human rights center.
Related materials: Reprisals in Russian-occupied Crimea