Crimean Tatar journalist warned of 'extremism' over Facebook post

30th May 2016, Comments 0 comments

A prominent Crimean Tatar journalist on the Moscow-annexed peninsula on Monday said she had received a warning from prosecutors over extremist views for highlighting the plight of Tatar children whose parents have been detained.

Liliya Budzhurova, who is deputy director of the Crimean Tatar television channel ATR and also works for AFP, posted the official warning from prosecutors on her Facebook page.

A spokesman for regional prosecutors told AFP that some Facebook posts by Badzhurova and an article she wrote for a Ukrainian website were considered to contain "extremist appeals and to inflame the atmosphere".

Experts will conduct an analysis of her output, possibly leading to "an administrative or criminal probe," said the spokesman Alexander Shkitov.

Budzhurova, an influential member of the Crimean Tatar community in Crimea, spoke out against the growing number of arrests of Crimean Tatars and wrote an appeal in support of the children of those detained by the authorities.

"Soon Crimean Tatars will be caught in the streets, on public transport and at the markets. We're less than a step away from being forced to wear a yellow band on our sleeves, to differentiate us," she wrote on Facebook in April.

She also wrote last week that 18 members of the community have been jailed.

"Most of those now in prison have children who are minors," she wrote, proposing the creation of a fund to support them.

Crimean Tatars are a Muslim minority on the Black Sea peninsula, a Turkic people who lived in Crimea before Russian rule and were deported under Stalin during World War II.

They were allowed to return from exile only in the late 1980s under reforms brought in by Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.

Most opposed the controversial referendum in March 2014 that formalised Crimea's annexation by Russia. Afterwards Moscow oversaw a crackdown on Crimean Tatar community leaders.

A court last month banned the Crimea Tatars' governing body the Mejlis, and key members of the community continue to be arrested, most recently the deputy chairman of the Majlis Ilmi Umerov earlier this month.

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© 2016 AFP

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