18:07 May. 22, 2016
Two years after Russia annexed Crimea, Tatars are feeling increasingly insecure in their homeland on the Black Sea peninsula
Up until about a year ago, Zera Emir-Suin was one of the most well-known television journalists on the Crimean peninsula. With her sly smile and sharp tongue, she is known as one who fights for what is right. Her fellow Crimean Tatars would call her up and ask for help. And many of them got it through her TV show.
Then, literally overnight, her television station, ATR, was forbidden and Emir-Suin lost her job. She said she was viewed with suspicion in her own hometown, which fell under Russian control after a dubious - and widely boycotted - referendum in 2014. After being unemployed for a year, she found work as the spokeswoman of the Spiritual Administration of Muslims in Ukraine, headed by Mufti Emirali Ablaev, the holy leader of the Crimean Tatars.
Russia is once again applying pressure on Tatars. Since the takeover in 2014, 20,000 have abandoned their homeland and moved to Ukraine proper. Emir-Suin herself has been subjected to questioning several times by state prosecutors for reporting that authorities had found too critical.