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Crimean Tatars Address UN Security Council

Crimean Tatar leader Mustafa Dzhemilev was due to brief the Security Council on the situation for minorities in Crimea.
The UN Security Council has held an informal council meeting on Crimea.

Members of Crimea's Tatar minority took part including Mustafa Dzhamilev, a local Tatar leader and former Soviet dissident.

The meeting on March 31 was organized by Lithuania.

Lithuania's U.N. deputy ambassador Rita Kazragien said the meeting gave members their first opportunity to hear the Crimean Tatars' concerns about media impartiality and minority rights.

The Committee to Project Journalists has warned about the eroding climate of media freedom in Crimea since the region voted to secede from Ukraine.

However, Russia, which sent troops into the Crimean Peninsula and ultimately annexed the Black Sea peninsula, boycotted the council session.

In a statement, Russia's UN mission said the session was designed not to give an objective account of events in the region "but to stage a biased propaganda show."

The statement said the region was now Russian territory and therefore no longer an issue on the Security Council's agenda.

Kazragien countered that many Security Council members consider the referendum on Crimea's status illegal and don't recognize its annexation.

According to the Reuters news agency, China and Rwanda were the only other council members that did not attend.

Based on AP, ITAR-TASS, and Reuters reporting