The United Nations condemned Tuesday the detention of a top Crimean Tatar official by the Russian Federal Investigative Committee.
"We condemned the detention of the deputy head of the Crimean Tatar Mejlis (national assembly). We understand that he faces up to 10 years in prison. Clearly, this is excessive," U.N. Human Rights spokesperson Ravina Shamdasani said at a press conference in the U.N. headquarters in Geneva.
U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein said in a statement that "There are worrying developments in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, in particular, with regards to multiple violations of the rights of Crimean Tatars."
Last week, the deputy head of the Crimean Tatar Mejlis, Ahtem Ciygoz, was detained and the premises of ATR, the only television channel broadcasting in the Crimean Tatar language, was raided by armed, masked men in unmarked military clothing.
Ciygoz was taken into custody Thursday on suspicion of organizing "mass disorder" in front of Crimea's parliament in Simferopol city on Feb. 26, 2014, when Crimean Tatars and other pro-Ukrainian activists clashed with pro-Russian activists.