Responding to news that Russian security forces in occupied Crimea have conducted extensive searches and detained ethnic community Crimean Tatars, Oksana Pokalchuk, Amnesty International Ukraine’s Executive Director, said:
“The crackdown on the Crimean Tatar community, whose members are regarded as disloyal to the de facto Russian authorities, has continued unabated for five years.
“The Russian authorities will use any means to suppress any dissent, real or perceived, casting their net wide to target the Crimean Tatar community and silence dissenting voices. The latest crackdown is one of the biggest acts of brazen intimidation of the whole community in recent months.”
According to the de facto Crimean Directorate of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB), the law enforcement agents conducted searches and detentions to investigate the activities of Hizb ut-Tahrir, a religious group banned in Russia as “terrorist” but operating lawfully in Ukraine.