(QHA) -

Authorities in Crimea should stop targeting the independent regional broadcaster ATR immediately, the Committee to Protect Journalists said after the broadcaster was raided and its equipment seized.

"Dozens of Russian investigators and masked security agents armed with Kalashnikov assault rifles raided the newsroom of ATR in the regional capital Simferopol and confiscated its servers and reporting files from journalists' computers, according to regional and international press"- reads the statement of the committee. 

ATR's analog broadcasting was temporarily suspended, news reports said. 

"Today's debilitating raid against ATR is clearly part of a campaign to muzzle the remaining independent and critical voices in Crimea," said Muzaffar Suleymanov, CPJ's Europe and Central Asia researcher. "We call on authorities in Moscow and Crimea to stop harassing ATR journalists and to let the channel broadcast freely."

During a CPJ mission to Kiev in July, journalists who fled Crimea asked CPJ to monitor press freedom conditions in the region and said that news outlets, specifically those belonging to the Crimean Tatars.