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Russia Charges Crimean Tatar Activist Over Facebook Posts

Lutfiye Zudieva. Lutfiye Zudieva / Facebook

Moscow-installed authorities in annexed Crimea have charged Crimean Tatar activist and citizen journalist Lutfiye Zudiyeva with “misue of freedom of mass media,” the advocacy group Crimean Solidarity said Thursday.

Several masked agents were filmed escorting Zudiyeva from her home in Dzhankoi, a town located in the north of the Crimean penninsula.

“In a few days, I will face trial,” the activist later wrote on X (formerly Twitter).

According to the Ukrainian news outlet Graty, Zudiyeva faces two misdemeanor charges for Facebook posts that contain content from Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), which was branded an “undesirable” organization earlier this week, as well as a post that refers to the banned Islamic group Hizb ut-Tahrir. 

She could be fined up to 100,000 rubles ($1,050) if found guilty of misusing media resources. 

Crimean Solidarity said members of Russia’s anti-extremism task force searched Zudiyeva’s home and seized her and her children’s personal electronic devices.

Independent rights watchdog OVD-Info reported that the activist was released after questioning. 

Crimean Tatars are a predominantly Muslim ethnic minority, among whom many opposed Russia’s 2014 annexation of the penninsula.

Russia has branded Crimean Tatars’ local self-governing body as an “extremist” organization.

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