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Crimean Tatars Demand Their Rights Be Respected

Thousands rallied in Simferopol on December 10 to demand the "revival of Crimean Tatars' rights"
SIMFEROPOL, Ukraine -- Some 2,000 Crimean Tatars have gathered in Simferopol, the capital of Ukraine's Autonomous Republic of Crimea, to demand that their rights be "revived."

In a rally, timed to coincide with international Human Rights Day, participants called on Ukrainian authorities to support the idea of organizing an international forum in 2013 on the "revival of Crimean Tatars' rights" in Ukraine.

The Crimean Tatars' National Congress (Mejlis) proposed the idea in 2010 and it has been supported by member states of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

Soviet dictator Josef Stalin ordered the mass deportation of 180,000 Crimean Tatars from Crimea to Central Asia and Siberia in 1944.

Crimean Tatars were rehabilitated by the Kremlin in 1957.

The majority of returnees say they still have no proper housing since coming back to Crimea, mainly in the late 1980s and 1990s.