New draft law on compensation for deported peoples
A draft law has been registered in the Verkhovna Rada on procedure for reinstating the rights of the national groups deported under Stalin from Ukrainian territory. The author is the head of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People and National Deputy, Mustafa Dzhemiliev [“Our Ukraine – People’s Self-Defence”] is proposing to compensate people who were deported for the value of their lost property out of public funding. Members of the Verkhovna Rada profile committee are prepared to support the draft law if it takes into account the rights of all deported peoples.
The draft law “On reinstating the rights of people deported on ethnic grounds” will apply to Crimean Tatars and other ethnic minorities deported in 1941-1944, as well as to their children born before the return of the family to Ukraine. If the draft law is adopted, a central body will be set up on issues relating to the reinstatement of Deported people’s rights which would deal with confirming status and coordinating the return of property.
On 11 May 1944 Stalin signed an order “On resettling the Crimean Tatars from the Crimean Autonomous SSR to the Uzbek SSR”. Approximately 200 thousand Crimean Tatars were deported on the false claim that the Crimean Tatar people had collaborated with the Nazis. They began returning in any significant numbers only after Ukraine gained independence in 1989. There were also deportations of Bulgarians, Greeks and ethnic Germans from the Crimea. There were also mass deportations in 1940 from the territory of Western Ukraine. According to various estimates, more than 230 thousand people, mainly Poles, were sent to eastern regions of the USSR.
The value of the property lost during the deportation would be compensated within five years of the status being confirmed. Mustafa Dzhemiliev told the newspaper that if the property remain and nobody owned it, then it would be returned. If, however, the house was no longer standing, they would return the cost of building it, with this coming from the State’s coffers. Veteran of the National Movement of Crimean Tatars Timur Dagdzhy estimates that the cost only of lost housing for deported Crimean Tatars would be around 6 billion US. However the draft law does not mention the possible amount of compensation.
Members of the profile Committee on Human Rights, National Minorities and Inter-ethnic Relations have not yet studied the new draft law. They stress only that it must guarantee to reinstate the rights of all deported peoples.
From a report at http://www.kommersant.ua/doc.html?docId=1303639