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Thursday, 18 May, 2000, 14:15 GMT 15:15 UK
Crimean Tatars demonstrate

Thousands of ethnic Tatars have held a rally in the capital of the Crimea region of Ukraine, Simferopol.

The demonstrators gathered outside the local parliament and demanded better representation in Crimean public institutions, more equitable land distribution and the recognition of Tatar as one of the official languages of Crimea.

The protests took place on the anniversary of the deportation of Tatars to Central Asia by the Soviet leader, Stalin, during the Second World War. Many Tatars only started to return to Crimea after the end of the Soviet Union: they make up about one-tenth of the Crimean population.

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