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Crimean Tatar Man Detained Over Pre-Annexation Clash

  • RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service

SIMFEROPOL, Ukraine -- A Crimean Tatar activist has been arrested over a clash on the Black Sea peninsula in February 2014, shortly before Russia seized control.

Talyat Yunusov, 30, was detained on March 11 and remained in police custody in the Crimean capital Simferopol on March 12, his father, Asan Yunusov, told RFE/RL.

He said police searched his son's house in the village of Yastrubivka for two hours after they detained him but did not confiscate anything.

Asan Yunusov said police told him his son is suspected of assaulting a man during a clash pitting Crimean Tatars and other pro-Ukrainian activists against pro-Russian activists near the regional parliament on February 26, 2014.

Armed men in unmarked uniforms seized the parliament building the following day, and Russia annexed the region after a March 16 referendum dismissed by Kyiv and the West as illegitimate.

Activists say Crimean Tatars have faced discrimination, pressure, and abuse for their opposition to the annexation.

A deputy chairman of the Crimean Tatar assembly, Ahtem Ciygoz (say: chee-GOZ), and activist Iskender Kantemirov, were arrested earlier this year and charged with organizing "mass disorder" over the violance outside parliament.

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