Crimean Tatar editorial staff of the State Television and Radio Company (STRC) Krym (Crimea) were verbally ordered to “stop showing” the leader of the Crimean Tatar people Mustafa Dzhemilev, as well as Mejlis members, an informed source at the STRC confirmed in a statement to Ukrainska Pravda. According to the report, Crimea’s new “authorities” have decided to use sanctions against the Crimean Tatar leader, and attempted to impose censorship in connection with reporting on the Mejlis activities.
“STRC staff were told that ‘there’s no need to show them [Dzhemilev and other Mejlis members]’.”, said the source. Additionally, they were “recommended against interviewing the leader or even showing general background footage with his presence; and censorship also extends to any mentions of Mustafa Dzhemilev’s name.” The source clarified that these “recommendations” were announced verbally, and confirmed earlier reports that there is an unofficial ban against reporting on Mejlis leadership.
At the same time, Crimean Tatar editorial staff of STRC Krym intend to meet with the STRC’s management on April 22. “If this has to do with censorship, then we will demand presentation of an official document, spelling out these requirements in writing”, explained the source.
The Mejlis press secretary Leila Muslimova also reported on her Facebook page that there is a ban against the STRC’s broadcasting of Mustafa Dzhemilev, Refat Chubarov, and other Mejlis members:
“Employees of the Creative Association of Crimean Tatar Programs of STRC Krym report that, starting today, STRC Krym is prohibited from broadcasting any statements by the leader of Crimean Tatar people, people’s deputy of Ukraine Mustafa Dzhemilev, the Chair of Majlis Refat Chubarov, and other members of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people. Moreover, effective today, the director and the chief editor of the Creative Association of Crimean Tatar Programs of STRC Krym were both forced to go on ‘vacation’.”
Another Facebook user, Yuri Yizhakevych, also posted an emotional appeal in connection with the censorship reports:
“This news gave rise to major internal protest among the STRC staff. They fear being fired, or having their company undergo major personnel rotations in the nearest future. No matter the policy of the authorities, the Crimean Tatars have their own truth, tempered over 70 years of the struggle for their rights. And no government, even the strongest and the most authoritarian one, could ban the living symbol of this truth, Mustafa Dzhemilev. Here’s where the people must stand up for the truth! I suggest organizing a flash-mob: let’s share this announcement on censorship of Dzhemilev by the STRC, and use his portrait as a profile photo on all social networks. Very soon, all of Crimea will stand up with Dzhemilev’s face against the panic attempts to conceal any information related to Dzhemilev.”
Translated by Olga Ruda