"The last statement" by Deputy Chairman of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People Mr. Akhtem Chiygoz August 9, 2017

Delivered by him at the sitting of the "Supreme Court of the Crimea" (the original text’s wording preserved)

Before my mother died, I asked her for forgiveness, as being her son I could not be with her in her last difficult days.

Calling up the strength she still had, she said to me "I'm proud that I brought up a son like you!".

Now no matter what I do, no matter how hard it is, and without knowing whether I will ever make it out of here alive, my biggest fear is that my actions, thoughts, or statements may disgrace me as a human, as a Crimean Tatar, and that my people will be ashamed for trusting and electing me to the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people.

"Ant etkenmen, söz bergenmen millet içün ölmege ..." (I’ve sworn, I’ve given word to die for the nation)

I, like other members of the Mejlis, proclaimed this oath bowing my knee and kissing the national flag in the courtyard of the Khan's Palace, the iconic symbol of our people, the central place of the centuries-long statehood of the Crimean Tatars.

The very reason for several deportations, and, in fact, for the genocide was the eagerness of the Russian Empire, and later on of the USSR, to cleanse the Crimea of ​​the Crimean Tatars and to eliminate the history and the memory of our people for good.

Every Crimean Tatar pronounces these words, swears an oath and feels responsibility before the future generation for the fate of his nation, for the fate of his Motherland.

The nation on its own elects its leaders.

Nothing managed to break the will of the people, nothing managed to destroy the identity, the love for their homeland and for their soil passed down through the generations.

For the Crimean Tatars, as for many other peoples, notions of "civic duty", "patriotism", and "national dignity" are special values.

On February 26th, 2014, the Crimean Tatars and other citizens of Ukraine once again came out with a protest against threats to the territorial integrity of Ukraine and with a call to hold to account chevaliers of fortune at power and political easy riders.

Later on, as the occupation of Crimea unfolded, the Crimean Tatars along with other citizens of Ukraine, despite numerous provocations by those forces, abductions, murders, searches, arrests, prohibitions on holding commemorative mourning dates, huge fines for the slightest manifestation of activism, despite the use of wide repressive methods, continued to fulfill their civic duty. And they still continue.

It is these circumstances which irritate those forces, cause their anger and force them to arrange rigged trials of innocent people.

For over two years now there is a political process that has already made it into history as "the case of February 26". It is a process which obviously aims to intimidate the Crimean Tatars, to strangle and minimize their activities in defense of their rights, in support of Ukraine and the international community, which does not recognize the illegal annexation of the Crimea.

It is obvious to everybody that there is no criminal case against Akhtem Chiygoz.

Incidents occurred on February 26th, 2014, at a peaceful rally called by the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people, were provoked by the very subjects who later on contributed to the military occupation of the Crimea. Namely they now put on trial not those who betrayed, who had goals and intentions aimed at undermining the territorial integrity of Ukraine, who subsequently abducted and killed people, who illegally vested themselves with the power to rule, to judge. They now put on trial those who defended the laws of the country, the international norms and rules.

The rigged trial is organized by an invading country, which has no right to it.

In such a situation, and knowing all the real intentions of the masterminds of this process, there is no need to talk about any impartiality and independence of the court.

I am destined to accept this sentence as a verdict for the entire Crimean Tatar people - on behalf of the Russian Federation that occupied my Motherland.

August 9th, 2017, Simferopol, Crimea under temporary Russian occupation

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