Accessibility links

Breaking News

Russia Detains 11 Crimean Tatars

 Crimean Tatar activist and lawyer Marlen Mustafayev (file photo)
Crimean Tatar activist and lawyer Marlen Mustafayev (file photo)

The Russian authorities in the annexed Ukrainian region of Crimea have sentenced 10 Crimean Tatars to five days of administrative arrest after convicting them of holding an illegal public gathering.

The decision came late on February 21 after the defendants were arrested earlier the same day while taking photographs and videos of a search conducted by Russian police in the home of Crimean Tatar activist and lawyer Marlen Mustafayev.

Mustafayev was sentenced to 11 days of administrative arrest on the same charges as the 10 other detainees. Mustafayev's wife told RFE/RL that police confiscated her husband's computer and some books. No explanations were given, she says.

The Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group reported that the defendants were not afforded legal representation.

Russia has been sharply criticized by international rights groups and Western governments for its treatment of Crimea's indigenous Turkic-speaking, mainly Muslim Crimean Tatar population since Moscow illegally annexed the Ukrainian region in March 2014.

Arrests, disappearances, and killings of Crimean Tatars have been reported, and Crimean Tatar self-government organizations have been declared illegal.

  • 16x9 Image

    RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service

    RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service has seen its audience grow significantly since Russia's full-scale invasion in February 2022 and is among the most cited media outlets in the country. Its bold, in-depth reporting from the front lines has won many accolades and awards. Its comprehensive coverage also includes award-winning reporting by the Donbas.Realities and Crimea.Realities projects and the Schemes investigative unit.