Ilmi Umerov, who was sentenced to jail for comments about Russia’s annexation, says he will not ask for mercy despite illnesses

A Crimean Tatar leader sentenced to two years in jail for opposing Russian rule in the annexed territory has said he will not appeal to the Kremlin for mercy, despite illnesses that mean his life could be at risk in prison.

“There is little hope for justice through an official appeal, and I will definitely not be making any appeals for clemency,” Ilmi Umerov told the Guardian by telephone from his Crimea home, saying he did not want to beg to his oppressors.

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