Prague / Kyiv, 27 October 2017, (8 November 2017). This year’s Prize of the Platform of European Memory and Conscience was awarded to Mr Ilmi Umerov, deputy head of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People in Crimea, dissident and political prisoner in the USSR and in Russia-occupied Crimea who is just being released from custody and returned to Ukraine on 27 October. The Platform member institutions and organisations voted to give the prize to Mr Umerov in recognition of his struggle against totalitarianism, for the ideals of democracy, fundamental human rights and freedoms and the rule of law.
The Prize was awarded on 8 November 2017 in Paris, France during the Platform’s conference “100 Years of Communism. History and Memory.“
Mr Ilmi Umerov, deputy head of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people, was most recently convicted in Russia – occupied Crimea for his public statements in support of the territorial integrity of Ukraine. On 27 September 2017, the so-called “Simferopol District Court” in Crimea sentenced him to two year’s imprisonment in a penal colony settlement and banned him from engaging in public activities for two years. On 21 October, Umerov was admitted to hospital because of health problems. On 25 October, Mr Umerov and another political prisoner Akhtem Chiygoz were released from custody. Mr Umerov, who is in poor health, was exiled to Turkey directly from hospital. Eventually, the Kremlin stated that he was “freed on humanitarian grounds.” Mr Umerov is being returned from Turkey to Kyiv, Ukraine today.