Rallies involving Crimean Tatars. Photo: censor.net
The World Congress of Crimean Tatars has slammed the recent decision of the Russian Ministry of Justice to suspend the activities of the Crimean Tatar Mejlis as “Hitlerism at the very least,” according to a statement on their site.
The Mejlis, the representative and decision making body of the Crimean Tatar People that has been elected by the National Qurultai of the Crimean Tatars, is now prohibited from using media, holding public events, and “in general carrying out any work.”
On 18 April 2016, the Russian Ministry of Justice included the Crimean Tatar Mejlis in the list of civil and religious organizations whose activity is suspended due to extremism. This came after a statement by self-proclaimed “prosecutor” Nataliya Poklonskaya about the suspension of the representative organ of the Crimean Tatars amid a court process seeking ban the Mejlis due to supposed “extremism.”
“It is Hitlerism at the very least, the suspending of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People, which has never resorted to any violence and conducting its struggle under a democratic legal order since the day it has been established, as an ‘extremist’ organization by the Russian Federation,” the statement stresses.
According to the World Congress of Crimean Tatars, by occupying the Crimean peninsula of Ukraine Russia violated the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, European Convention on Human Rights and all multilateral and bilateral agreements to which it is a party.
“The immediate trial of Russia in international courts for its crimes against humanity committed in all the soils it invaded today and throughout the history will be the most advisable way to avoid by peaceful methods this Hitlerism policy threatening the world again,” advises the statement, enumerating Russia’s crimes against humanity: support for terrorist groups in eastern Ukraine, invading Georgia, killing tens of thousands of people in Chechnya, trampling of basic human rights in the Crimea and other occupied areas.
The World Congress of Crimean Tatars further calls on all the states and nations of the world that respect human rights, democracy and rule of law, and their parliaments representing them to recognize the National Qurultai of the Crimean Tatars and the National Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People elected by the Qurultai as the self-governing body and the only official representative of the Crimean Tatar People.
According to political analyst Taras Chornovil, Hitlerism is exactly the right word. The situation is no different as when Jews were dubbed as extremists, which led to their annihilation, he was quoted as saying by UNIAN: “The repression against the Crimean Tatars in Crimea may indicate that ‘a Nazi regime is being born in Russia, not even of an Italian, but namely of the German model.’ ‘It repeats the same mechanisms – recognition of certain peoples as enemies; respectively, their structures and organizations are recognized as extremist and threatening. Destruction usually begins with active citizens and structures of self-government of these peoples,’ he said.”
Human rights activist and lawyer Oleksandra Matviychuk notes that the decision of the Russian Ministry of Justice is legal nonsense, as the Mejlis is not a civic association within the meaning of the Federal Law “On civic association,” which is why it is simply impossible to close it or suspend its activities.