Rights group urges Russia to release Crimean Tatar leader

An international rights group on Friday urged Russia to release Crimean Tatar leader Ilmi Umerov, who has been sent to a psychiatric hospital.

Umerov, 59, is a former deputy chairman of the Mejlis, the Crimean Tatars' representative body, and one of the most outspoken Tatar critics of the Kremlin. He refused to pledge allegiance to Russia after it annexed the peninsula from Ukraine in 2014. Crimea's Supreme Court effectively banned the Mejlis in April, declaring it an extremist organization.

Umerov was charged with separatism in May, following a television interview in which he criticized Russia's annexation of Crimea.

Human Rights Watch urged Russia to drop...