One step closer to law reinstating the rights of deported peoples
18 May 2012 remembering the 1944 Deportation in Simferopol
The Verkhovna Rada with a large majority has passed in its first reading Draft Law No. 5515 on Reinstating the Rights of People Deported on Ethnic Grounds tabled by Mustafa Dzhemiliev.
The same bill was sent back for reworking on 16 May after failing to get enough votes. That was when the leader of the communists, Petro Symonenko got up in parliament and tried to justify Stalin’s Deportations, and repeated the lie officially acknowledged as untrue back in the 1960s about collaboration, claiming that on one day the entire Crimean Tatar people switched allegiance to Hitler. His comments were widely condemned. This time the communists in parliament restrained themselves, however they were still the only party which did not vote for the draft law.
Mustafa Dzhemiliev points out that in May many MPs explained their reason for not voting for the law as being that it did not state where the funding would come from for its implementation.
He stressed that the “state will expend available resources depending on the economic situation in the country. While the law covers all minorities deported during the War, Mustafa Dzhemiliev says that it will be mainly of relevance to the Crimean Tatars.
The fact of having been deported would be confirmed by the relevant certificate or document issued by Ukrainian bodies or those from former Soviet republics. In the absence of such documents, the fact of having been deported is established via the court. Deported persons have the right to free consultation and help linked with receiving deported person status (there is no explanation of what documents are needed to prove entitlement to the free consultation – translator).
If the law were passed as a whole, it would entitle former deportees to the right to settle in the boundaries of the administrative-territorial units where they or their parents or grandparents were living at the time of the Deportation. Buildings and other property removed at the time of the Deportation would be returned to the person or their heirs in kind. If there was no possibility of doing that, the person would be paid the cost of the building or property. Such claims would have to be made within three years of the person having gained deported person status.
The financing for this would come from each year’s general and local budgets. Funding from international organizations and foreign governments allocated for these persons are also possible.
Helping former deported people and their families set themselves up, and help with integration and adaptation into Ukrainian society would be carried out according to state target programmes affirmed by the Cabinet of Ministers.