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U.S. Condemns Crackdown On Crimean Tatar Media

The offices of the Crimean Tatar TV channel ATR just before its shutdown
The offices of the Crimean Tatar TV channel ATR just before its shutdown

The United States has strongly condemned "Russian occupation authorities" for shutting down several Crimean Tatar language media on the annexed Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea.

In a statement on April 2, the U.S. State Department called the closures on April 1 the "latest in a string of actions that undermine freedom of expression in Crimea."

Spokeswoman Marie Harf said that the media outlets that were closed included ATR TV, the last independent television station serving the Crimean Tatar population of Crimea, as well as QHA news agency, the newspaper Avdet, radio station Meydan FM, and many more.

Harf said the move followed a "yearlong crusade to silence the Crimean Tatar population and others who oppose Russia’s occupation."

She noted Crimean Tatars have been singled out and subjected to a "pattern of discrimination, intimidation, and persecution."

Amnesty International said Russian media regulator Roskomnadzor's failure to register Crimean Tatar media outlets under Russian law amounted to "a blatant attack on freedom of expression, dressed-up as an administrative procedure."

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