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Deputy Chairman of Crimean Tatar Mejlis Detained

Russian authorities say a deputy chairman of the Crimean Tatar Mejlis has been detained on suspicion of organizing "mass disorder" in the regional capital, Simferopol, last year.

The federal Investigative Committee said on January 29 that Ahtem Ciygoz (read Cheegoz) was detained in connection with clashes outside the Crimean parliament in February 2014.

Crimean Tatars and other pro-Ukrainian activists clashed with pro-Russian activists near the parliament on February 26. The next day, armed men in unmarked uniforms seized the parliament building and the parliament voted to join Russia several days later.

"On February 26, 2014, unknown individuals called on Crimean Tatars to disobey local officials' lawful demands, which caused mass disorder accompanied with violence," Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin said.

Russia annexed Crimea in March after a referendum condemned by Kyiv and the West as illegitimate.

Since then, activists, community leaders, and rights groups have said that Crimean Tatars have faced discrimination, pressure, and abuse for their opposition tothe annexation.

Based on reporting by RIA and Interfax

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