Mustafa Jemilev is the leader of the Crimean Tatars, the original people of the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea. A former human rights activist in the Soviet Union, he is an internationally recognised champion of freedom.He was a baby when his parents, along with 200,000 other Crimean Tatars, were deported by Stalin from Crimea to Uzbekistan in 1944. He has dedicated his life to the struggle for the rights of the Crimean Tatars, for which he spent 15 years in Soviet prisons and camps.With the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Crimean Tatars had the chance to return to their homeland. However Russia's annexation of the peninsula in 2014 has led to new human rights abuses against the Crimean Tatars, similar to the injustices they suffered following Russia's first annexation of Crimea in 1783. Today Mustafa Jemilev no longer holds any official function apart from his position in the Ukrainian parliament. Nevertheless the international Crimean Tatar community looks upon him as their spiritual leader – not without reason. After turning 70 in 2013 he planned to scale down his political activities. But that was not to be.Mustafa Jemilev and the persecuted of Crimea is the story of one man's tireless struggle for the rights of his people. Mustafa Jemilev has combated the Soviet regime; Putin's Russia, however, could prove to be a much tougher challenge.