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Crimean Tatar Leader Mustafa Dzhemilev on Federal Wanted List

Former chairman of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatars Mustafa Dzhemilev

An arrest warrant has been issued for former Crimean Tatar leader Mustafa Dzhemilev, the TASS news agency reported Thursday, citing the peninsula's General Prosecutor Natalia Poklonskaya.

The former leader of the Mejlis — the Crimean Tatars' representative body — has been placed on a federal wanted list, said Poklonskaya, citing a Simferopol court order.

Dzhemilev was one of the organizers of a road blockade that hindered traffic to Crimea from the Ukrainian mainland and obstructed the repair of power lines after they were blown up by saboteurs in southern Ukraine, plunging Crimea into a blackout.

Poklonskaya said a criminal investigation had been opened into Dzhemilev on “several crimes,” which would not be disclosed in order not to obstruct the prosecutors' work.

Dzhemilev fled to Ukraine after he was banned from the peninsula for five years for inciting unrest.The relationship between Crimean Tatars and the pro-Kremlin authorities in Simferopol has been strained after the Tatar community widely opposed the peninsula's annexation by Russia in March 2014.

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