00:42 GMT24 November 2020
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    The US State Department called on Russia to lift restrictions on a legislature body for the ethnic Crimean Tatar minority's community.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The US State Department has demanded that Russia lift restrictions on Mejlis, a Crimean Tatar organization acting as a legislature for the ethnic minority's community.

    The Russian Justice Ministry suspended Mejlis after request from Crimea’s chief prosecutor who accused the group of extremism and links to terror groups like Hizb ut-Tahrir.

    "We call on the Russian Federation to reverse the Ministry of Justice’s recent decision to designate the Crimean Tatar Mejlis as an ‘extremist’ organization," US Department’s spokesman John Kirby said Thursday.

    The US foreign office argued that Mejlis is "an important independent voice in preserving their culture and protecting them from discrimination," and the decision to pause it "contravenes basic democratic principles."

    Crimea rejoined Russia after a referendum in March 2014, in which 96 percent of people in the region backed cessation from Ukraine.


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