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Amnesty warns of disappearances and torture in Crimea

IANS  |  London 

A report by human rights organisation Amnesty International said on Wednesday that authorities in the region of Crimea have failed to investigate instances of disappearances and torture of their political opponents, Efe news agency reported.

Amnesty International condemned the campaign to silence opposition of the Crimea authorities, while Monday marked the first anniversary of the merger of the Crimean peninsula with Russia.

Since the merger, the report notes, at least seven people have disappeared and one was found dead with indications of torture.

Three of the missing, who were Crimean Tatars, were last seen being forced into a van by men dressed in black uniforms.

Additionally, several members of the Ukrainian House in Crimea, an organisation promoting Ukrainian language and culture, have disappeared with no clues as of yet to trace their whereabouts.

Authorities are creating a climate of fear in Crimea, claimed the report, by using intimidation and restrictive laws to silence the media and NGOs.

John Dalhuisen, Amnesty's director for Europe and Central Asia, said that since Crimea merged with Russia, "the de facto authorities are using a vast array of bully-boy tactics to crack down on dissent".

"A number of abductions between March and September have prompted many vocal critics to leave the region," said Dalhuisen.

"Those remaining in Crimea face a range of harassment from authorities determined to silence their opponents," Dalhuisen added.

First Published: Wed, March 18 2015. 17:02 IST
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