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Tatarstan NGOs Propose Crimean Tatar Leader For Nobel Peace Prize

Nongovernmental organizations in Russia's Republic of Tatarstan have nominated the veteran leader of Crimean Tatars, Mustafa Dzhemilev, for the Nobel Peace Prize.

The organizations’ leaders told RFE/RL that Dzhemilev, a dissident who was imprisoned by the Soviets over his campaign for the rights of Crimean Tatars, deserves the prize because of his insistence on a peaceful resolution of ethnic issues.

Dzhemilev, 70, has said publicly that Crimean Tatars will not recognize Russia's annexation of the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine.

Groups supporting Dzhemilev's Nobel nomination include the Council of Tatarstan Elderlies, the Tatarstan National Assembly, Tatarstan's Anti-Nuclear Association, the Muslim Women's Association, and others. The groups have sent joint letters to the Nobel Prize committee and the Ukrainian government and intellectuals, asking them to support Dzhemilev's nomination.

RFE/RL has been declared an "undesirable organization" by the Russian government.

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