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Russia prohibits display of Crimean Tatar flag in Crimean schools

Crimean Tatar flag
Russia prohibits display of Crimean Tatar flag in Crimean schools

The Russian occupying authorities in Crimea have announced a ban on raising the Crimean Tatar flag alongside the flags of Russia and the self-declared “Republic of Crimea” during school events on the peninsula, KrymSos reports citing its own sources. This decision has also extended to prohibiting certain planned activities, including those commemorating the Day of Remembrance for the Victims of the Crimean Tatar Genocide on May 18. Special committees will be convened in Crimean Tatar schools to evaluate event planning, with the administration considering such activities as potential provocations.

While no official written directive has been issued regarding the flag ban, officials from the occupation administration have communicated this prohibition to schools. The reason cited for the ban is that the Crimean Tatar flag is not officially recognized, and only the Russian and “Republic of Crimea” flags are deemed valid.

With the upcoming school year in 2023-2024 approaching, concerns are growing. Ilmi Umerov, Deputy Chairman of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People, has noted that the number of Crimean Tatar schools has significantly decreased since Russia’s occupation of the peninsula. While there appear to be seven national schools remaining in Crimea, none offer instruction in the Crimean Tatar language. Instead, education is conducted in Russian, with Crimean Tatar taught only as a subject.

This move comes as part of a broader trend to exert control and conformity within the educational system in Crimea. Recent incidents, such as the halt of a convoy displaying Crimean Tatar flags by Russian occupation police, highlight the authorities’ strict stance. Three individuals were detained following the incident, and a local court found two of them guilty of administrative offenses and issued fines. Yevheniy Yaroshenko, an analyst, has voiced concerns over the policy of prosecuting individuals for displaying Crimean Tatar national symbols, stating that it contradicts various international norms and standards.

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