Court in Russia-occupied Crimea bans Tatar assembly

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The Supreme Court in the Russia-occupied peninsula of Crimea has banned the Crimean Tatar legislature as extremist.

Tuesday's ban follows months of persecution, expulsions and jailing of prominent Tatar leaders as well as rank-and-file protesters.

Russia's Justice Ministry earlier this month ruled the Mejlis was an extremist group, paving the way for the outright ban.

Crimean Tatars, who suffered a mass deportation at the hands of Soviet authorities in 1944, were arguably the only force opposing the Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014 from Ukraine.

Tatars, including prominent leaders with a Soviet dissident background like Mustafa Dzhemilev, were initially invited to contribute to the new government in Crimea. But a swift ban on Tatar assemblies and the heavy-handedness of the Russian government put a strain on efforts to work together.