At the end of March, the Russian government conducted the largest series of searches and arrests of Crimean Tatar activists since its annexation of Crimea. Russia continuously violates international standards relating to the detention of persons imprisoned for politically-motivated reasons and exerts unwarranted pressure on them by prohibiting visits by their relatives. The Russian Federation continues to unlawfully conscript Crimean residents into its army and harass Crimean activists and Ukrainian citizens through baseless searches, detentions, and administrative punishments. Members of the Jehovah’s Witnesses religious community and Muslim Crimeans are also being persecuted on religious grounds.
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