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Crimea puts Ukraine's Crimean Tatar rights activist on wanted list — prosecutor

January 21, 9:03 UTC+3
Mustafa Dzhemilev is considered one of the organizers of the so-called Crimean blockade
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Mustafa Dzhemilev

Mustafa Dzhemilev

© ITAR-TASS/Zurab Javakhadze

SIMFEROPOL, January 21. /TASS/. The Kievsky district court of Simferopol has arrested in absentia Ukrainian MP and one of the organizers of the so-called Crimean blockade, Crimean Tatar rights activist Mustafa Dzhemilev, Crimea’s Prosecutor-General Natalya Poklonskaya has said.

"The court has satisfied a motion of the investigative body on choosing a measure of restriction for Mustafa Dzhemilev," Poklonskaya said on Thursday.

Dzhemilev has been also put on a federal wanted list, she said.

"The cases have been launched on the basis of a range of articles. For committing several crimes," Poklonskaya said, giving no further details.

Earlier in the day, a lawyer for Dzhemilev, Dzemil Temishev, said on his Facebook page that his client was arrested in absentia.

The lawyer said the criminal case has been launched on the basis of three articles of Russia’s Criminal Code. The investigator and the prosecutor said Dzhemilev "is hiding from investigators and the court, may exert pressure on witnesses and destroy evidence," he said.

Dzhemilev is also "a citizen of another state and has no permanent residence on the territory of Crimea," the lawyer said.

Dzhemilev is the former head of mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People, which is not registered in Russia. After Crimea’s reunification with Russia in March 2014, Dzhemilev left the Black Sea peninsula.

In late September, Ukrainian activists led by Dzhemilev, Ukrainian MP Refat Chubarov and former deputy prime minister of Crimea, Lenur Islyamov, launched the so-called food blockade of Crimea. Trucks with food supplies and manufactured goods were not allowed into the peninsula. In mid-December, Ukraine’s government legalized the blockade, introducing a ban on the exports on goods to Crimea.

In late November, four transmission lines that supplied Crimea with electric power from Ukraine were blown up. As a result, the power supplies to Crimea were halted and a state of emergency was declared.

Russia’s law enforcers say the attacks were organized by the Ukrainian leaders of Crimean Tatars. The Federal Security Service (FSB) has opened a criminal case into sabotage. Crimea’s enterprises have sustained losses of more than 1.1 billion rubles ($13.4 million) due to the blackout.

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