"Freedom of assembly is restricted in the occupied Crimea, where harsh laws were introduced to prevent rallies and demonstrations. The arrest of 23 activists linked with the Crimean Solidarity network earlier this year highlights the escalation of repressions against the Crimean Tatars," Alex Johnson, the Chief of Staff of the U.S. Helsinki Commission, said at the OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meeting on Thursday in Warsaw, an Ukrinform correspondent reports.
He emphasized that "the Russian Federation views the freedom of peaceful assembly as a threat rather than a human right."
"The mass arrests of thousands of people who have been peacefully gathering in Moscow this summer, the excessive use of force against protesters and false criminal charges against some detainees all appear to be aimed at disrupting upcoming demonstrations," Johnson noted.
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