Statement of the Chairman of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People regarding the occasions happening on May 21, 2018 in the temporarily occupied Crimea May 22, 2018

On May 21, 2018 in the temporarily occupied Crimea, the Russian Federation once again resorted to repressions and discriminations of the Crimean Tatar people.

In the morning, in the town settlement Bakhchisaray and in the Bakhchisaray district the FSB (Federal Security Service) of the Russian Federation conducted searches in the houses of the Crimean Tatars – Server Mustafayev and Edem Smailov, the activists of the public association "Crimean Solidarity", activities of which is aimed to protect the rights, families and children of political prisoners in Crimea. In addition, Server Mustafayev is well-known by the fact that Ukraine and the whole world have been learning about the violation of the rights of the Crimean Tatars on the peninsula from his reportages in Crimea.

In both cases, as a result of the searches, they were arrested and taken away to the Crimean Department of the FSB. According to lawyers from Crimea and the occupation Crimean Mass-media, Server Mustafayev and Edem Smailov are charged with participating in the activities of a terrorist organization under Part 2 of Art. 205.5 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation.

Today, the FSB of the Russian Federation has announced about “disclosure” of another "extremist organization", as if organized by Crimean Tatars. According to the Center for Public Relations of the Russian FSB, Erol Veliyev, assistent of the people's Deputy Mustafa Dzhemilev, together with his accomplices, attempted to set a fire to the building of the Crimean collaborator, the former mufti of Crimea, Emirali Ablayev.

On the video, which, according to the FSB of the Russian Federation serves as evidence, Alexander Steshenko from Kharkiv is shown, who disappeared when crossing the administrative border with the occupied Crimea on April 11 of this year. As it became known later, he was arrested by the FSB. According to our reliable information, he was subjected to torture. In its announcement, the FSB emphasizes that this extremist organization "acted at the direction of the Chairman of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People".

The main purpose is traced both as in the case of the Bakhchisaray activists and in the announcement of the "disclosure" of the attempted arson attack – the Russian occupation authorities are trying to cover the repressions of the Crimean Tatar people with the label of "combating terrorism and extremism".

The arrest of the Server Mustafayev and Edem Smailov supplement a list of shameful persecutions of activists and public journalists, who consistently aimed for the protection of human rights in the occupied peninsula. At the same time, it is quite possibly, that the attempts of the FSB of the Russian Federation to combine the arson attack of the mufti's house organized by them, with the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people, supplements the list of unsuccessful attempts to discredit the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People.

The Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People resolutely condemns the arrest of Server Mustafayev and Edem Smailov and calls on the Ukrainian state and the world community for a hard-line response regarding the Russian Federation in order to prevent the persecution of public activists in the occupied Crimea.

The Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people rejects any attempts to blame the Crimean Tatar people and its representative body for violent actions.

The Crimean Tatar national movement has always adhered and still adheres the non-violent methods of struggling for its rights. The Russian Federation, which is not abide by the International court's interlocutory decision of the UN regarding the non-preventness of the activities of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People, is trying to fabricate a charge of the Mejlis in extremism.

We insist the Russian Federation urgently to release Server Mustafayev, Edem Smailov, as well as all prisoners persecuted by the Russian occupation authorities for the political reasons.

We insist the Russian Federation immediately to stop the illegal annexation of Crimea and to liberate the occupied peninsula.

We call on Ukraine and the world community to apply to Russia more effective measures for the liberation of Crimea, because the occupation of the peninsula is the root cause of human rights violations of the international criminal and humanitarian law.

The earlier the liberation of the peninsula happens, the sooner this legal and moral arbitrariness of Moscow will end.


Refat Chubarov,
Chairman of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People,
Kyiv, May 21, 2018.

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