Seen as an important part of Crimean Tatar culture, the only provider of news in the native language of 10% of the peninsula’s population, ATR was also forced to take its children's channel, two radio stations and other media outlets off the air, Ukraine Today reports.

More than 100 Crimean Tatars came to show their support in an “open house” event just before the shutdown.

Many Crimean Tatars see Russia’s occupation of Crimea as a threat, with activists disappearing and property being seized.

Crimean Tatar community leader Mustafa Dzhemilev was banned from entering Crimea last year. International human rights groups have also warned of the serious deterioration of the human rights situation in Crimea since Russia illegally occupied the Ukrainian territory last March.

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