Natalia Poklonskaya, Crimea’s controversial prosecutor general, who was appointed by the new Russian administration, has launched criminal proceedings against Refat Chubarov, chairman of the Medjlis of the Crimean Tatar People and other leading Medjlis figures.
According to Polonskaya: “Illegal extremist actions — including blocking roads, illegally crossing of the border of the Russian Federation, coupled with obstructing legitimate activities of government agencies — were conducted, as well as the use of violence.” Two resolutions, based on these facts, have been sent to the Investigative Committee of the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation (FSB) in order to open criminal proceedings against Chubarov and the Medjlis, she said.
On the morning of May 3, Crimean Tatars tried to break through a checkpoint in the town of Armiansk (in North Crimea), through which the leader of the Crimean Tatar people Mustafa Dzhemilev wanted to cross from mainland Ukraine into the occupied territory. The unrecognized interim Interior Minister of Crimea Sergey Abisov arrived in Armiansk and told the gathering that Dzhemilev is not be allowed to enter Crimea, as he is being denied entry into the territory of Crimea for five years. In response, the Medjlis called on all Crimean Tatars to block Crimea’s main roads in protest against the ban on Dzhemilev’s entry into the peninsula.
The Ukrainian government has issued a statement saying that Russia is returning to a policy of oppressing people and of ethnic discrimination and called for the immediate repeal of all prohibitions and restrictions applied by Russia against the Crimean Tatars and Mustafa Dzhemilev.
Crimea’s self-proclaimed governor Sergey Aksenov called the actions of the Crimean Tatar activists who made their way to their leader Dzhemilev, by breaking through the “Russian border” established at the checkpoint Turetskiy val, an “offense.”
Earlier, Poklonskaya issued an official warning from the prosecutor’s office of Crimea to Mejlis member Riza Shevkieva for an inadmissible violation of the Federal Law of Russia “On Countering Extremist Activities,” by the Medjis, for flying the Ukrainian flag.
Translated by Alya Shandra; edited by Olena Wawryshyn
NOTE: The Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People is the highest executive-representative body of the Crimean Tatars in periods between sessions of the Qurultay of the Crimean Tatar People (national congress). The status of Mejlis was legalized by the Presidential decree on May 18, 1999. Website of the Mejlis: http://qtmm.org/en