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Two Crimean Tatar Activists Briefly Detained Over 'Banned Symbols'

A combination file photo of Crimean Tatar activists Lutfie Zudiyeva (left) and Mumine Saliyeva

Police in Ukraine's Russia-controlled Crimea region have briefly detained two Crimean Tatar activists for allegedly displaying banned symbols, in the latest example of the ethnic group being harassed by law enforcement on the peninsula.

Lutfie Zudiyeva's husband told RFE/RL that plainclothes police officers stopped the car Zudiyeva was driving in Dzhankoy, a town north of the regional capital, Simferopol, in May 30.

She was released a couple hours later after being questioned.

Mumine Saliyeva, meanwhile, was detained by police at the market in Bakhchisaray, a historic Crimean Tatar village located south of Simferopol, according to defense lawyer Emil Kurbedinov.

Saliyeva was also released after being questioned, he said.

Saliyeva's husband is in the Simferopol detention center, charged with being a member of the banned Islamic group Hizb ut-Tahrir.

Zudiyeva is an outspoken rights activist who heads a group that helps the families of political prisoners on the Black Sea peninsula.

It wasn't immediately clear what exact banned symbols were being displayed.

In a video posted to his Facebook page, Nariman Dzhelyal, another activist, called the detentions another effort by local authorities to intimidate Crimean Tatar and other civil-society groups.

The Crimean Tatar community has been vocally opposed to Russia's annexation of the Ukrainian peninsula in 2014.

Police have regularly harassed activists who have publicly criticized local authorities.

With reporting by the Crimea Desk of RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service