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Freedom House Condemns Arrest Of Crimean Tatar Journalist, Lawyer

Emil Kurbedinov

Freedom House has condemned the arrest of lawyer Emil Kurbedinov and his client Seyran Saliev by Russian-imposed prosecutors in Ukraine's Moscow-annexed Crimea region.

Robert Herman, the vice president for international programs at Freedom House, is demanding the immediate release of Kurbedinov and Saliev.

A court in the Crimea's capital of Simferopol on January 26 sentenced Kurbedinov to 10 days in jail for publishing video footage from a Hizb ut-Tahrir rally in 2013 -- the year before Russia illegally annexed Crimea.

Saliev was arrested the same day and could face terrorism charges.

Both Kurbedinov and Saliev are Crimean Tatars.

Russia has been heavily criticized by international rights groups and Western governments for its treatment of Crimea's indigenous Turkic-speaking, mainly Muslim people since Russia seized control of the Ukrainian region in March 2014.

Arrests, disappearances, and killings of Crimean Tatars have been reported.

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