Crimean Tatars call for international forum on plight of deported people of the Crimea



The Crimean Tatars are seeking a special international forum on defending the rights of the Ukraine’s formerly deported peoples. On Wednesday at a meeting in Kyiv they addressed their proposals to foreign diplomats and representatives of international organizations.

The President of the World Congress of Crimean Tatars and Member of the Crimean parliament Refat Chubarov said that in the XXI Century the consequences of Stalin’s deportation of different ethnic groups from the Crimea have still not been eradicated.

The Ukrainian authorities, he said, have distanced themselves from the issues which face the Crimean Tatars and other peoples who returned to their home country (Greeks and Bulgarians).  He said that this was evidenced by the failure to pass a law reinstating the rights of repatriants.

He pointed out that such a law had been passed in 2004 but the then President Kuchma vetoed it.  Chubarov spoke of a paradoxical situation whereby the authorities acknowledge the unlawful nature of the Deportation and try to resolve certain social and educational problems, while refusing to pass a law which would regulate the problems.

The Head of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People and National Deputy, Mustafa Dzhemiliev urged the authorities to not delay in reinstating the rights of the Crimean Tatar people since that could lead to their disappearance. He warned also that the present situation could lead to radicalization of some Crimean Tatars.

US Ambassador John Tefft and the Head of the EU Delegation in Ukraine Jose Manuel Pintu Teisheira said that the US and EU would support such a forum.

Representatives of the Ukrainian authorities did not comment on the meeting.

From a report at Radio Svoboda

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