Cameraman For Closed Crimean Tatar TV Channel Detained

By RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service

April 21, 2015

SIMFEROPOL, Ukraine -- A cameraman for a Crimean Tatar television channel that was shut down by the Russian authorities controlling the Black Sea peninsula has been detained over a clash in February 2014, shortly before its annexation by Moscow.

Eskender Nebiyev was detained on April 20 after police searched his home in the Crimean capital, Simferopol, ATR station deputy director Lilia Budzhurova wrote on Facebook.

The Russian authorities are prosecuting several Crimean Tatars over a clash pitting members of the Muslim minority group and other pro-Ukrainian activists against pro-Russian activists near the regional parliament on February 26, 2014.

Armed men in unmarked uniforms seized the parliament building the following day, and Russia annexed the region after a March 16 referendum dismissed by Kyiv and the West as illegitimate.

Activists say Crimean Tatars have faced discrimination, pressure, and abuse for their opposition to the annexation.

ATR TV and other Crimean Tatar-language media outlets closed on April 1 after being denied registration in what the United States said was the "latest in a string of actions that undermine freedom of expression in Crimea."