MOSCOW: Russian police on Thursday detained dozens of Crimean Tatars protesting outside the Supreme Court in support of jailed members of the Muslim community who opposed Moscow’s annexation of the Black Sea peninsula, activists said, reports AFP.
The indigenous ethnic group has faced a crackdown from the new Russian authorities, which took control in 2014 and shut down local media and the national assembly.Protesters gathered at the court as it heard an appeal in the case of four men who were sentenced in December to up to 17 years for being members of Islamist group Hizb ut-Tahrir, which is banned in Russia, and plotting a violent uprising.
Alexandra Krylenkova, an activist supporting Crimean Tatars, told AFP that police detained 55 people who were standing outside the court building with posters, after shouting through loudspeakers that they were carrying out an illegal protest.
She posted photographs on Facebook showing activists holding up posters and wearing T-shirts with slogans calling for an end to persecution.
OVD-Info, a website that monitors detentions of protesters via a hotline, put the total detained at 44 people.
Krylenkova said those detained Thursday were not the same people who protested on Red Square.