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Russia extends Crimean Tatar leader’s ban to 2034

‘Decision has no practical meaning, because in 2034, both me, occupation will cease to exist,’ says Kirimoglu.

Russia on Friday extended a ban on entry to Crimea until 2034 for Mustafa Abdülcemil Kirimoglu, national leader of the Crimean Tatar people and Ukrainian deputy.

Attorney Nikolay Polozov announced on Facebook that during a hearing in Armyansk in Crimea, the Federal Security Service (FSB) extended the ban on Kirimoglu’s entry to the peninsula for 15 years.

“The Decision has no meaning in practice. Because in 2034, both me and the occupation will cease to exist,” Kirimoglu told Anadolu Agency.

“I think their intention was not to bring my body there. It is similar to the Soviet-era practice about prisoners. When a prisoner died in the prison, they did not give his body until his term ended. This decision is the same,” he added.

Russian forces entered the Crimean Peninsula in February 2014, with Russian President Vladimir Putin formally dividing the region into two separate federal subjects of the Russian Federation the following month.

Crimea’s ethnic Tatars have faced persecution since Russia’s 2014 takeover of the peninsula, a situation Turkey has decried.

Turkey and the US, as well as the UN General Assembly, view the annexation as illegal.

Kirimoglu and President of the Crimean Tatar National Assembly, Refat Cubarov, were banned from entering the peninsula after the annexation.

Crimean Tatar National Assembly was branded an “extremist organization” and its activities were banned.

Some 2,500 Crimean Tatars who had direct ties to the Assembly and everyone who had relations with it became members of the “extremist organization.”

Due to pressure from the Russian administration, thousands of Crimean Tatars had to leave the peninsula.

Detentions of Crimean Tatar’s homes, mosques and kindergartens continue on charges of being members of a “terrorist organization.”

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