Russia, Crimea, Tatars, arrests, police: Armed men raid Crimean mosque and kidnap one hundred people

16:07 May. 6, 2016

Armed men raid Crimean mosque and kidnap one hundred people

Russian riot police (GettyImages Photo)

Raiders later released the hostages 

Several dozen armed men raided a mosque in Crimea and captured almost a hundred Tatars on Friday, May 6. The Muslims were forced to get on buses and were taken away by the raiders. Later the Tatars were freed, according to Crimean lawyer Emil Kurbedinov.

"We have information the captured were let off the buses. However, they were told to come to police", Kurbedinov posted on Facebook.

Read also: Russian activist gets three years in jail for claiming Crimea is Ukraine

The raiders provided no explanation of their actions. Reportedly, they were members of the Russian riot police [OMON]. The lawyer added, coordinator of a human rights group in Crimea Abdureshyt Dzhepparov arrived at the scene.

"I am at the mosque now. Earlier I talked to several Tatars. They told me the same armed men ordered for all parishioners to always have personal documents. I don't know their reasons. The reason is, Russia's inadequate", Dzhepparov said in an interview with RFE/RL.

Read also: European Parliament to discuss violations of Crimean Tatar rights

Russia has been detaining Crimean Tatars since the day it occupied the peninsula. The Muslims have been persecuted or deported. Moscow's policy regarding them has been criticised by Ukraine and the West. The E.U. has called the recent prohibition of Crimean Tatars Mejlis "a grave attack on human rights".

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