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28.04.2014 | Halya Coynash

Mejlis gets official warning over Ukrainian flag

   

The new “prosecutor” of the Crimea has issued a formal warning to Risa Shevkiev, member of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people in connection with the flying of the Ukrainian flag over the Mejlis’ building.  The document warns him against infringing the Russian law “on countering extremist activities”.

Shekiev told the BBC Ukrainian Service that he had received an official letter signed by the acting prosecutor, Natalya Poklonska.  The letter claims that the Ukrainian flag was raised “for propaganda and public demonstration purposes with this serving to arouse social and ethnic enmity and constituting propaganda of exclusiveness”. 

As reported, the flag was raised on April 19 on the instructions of former head of the Mejlis and veteran champion of Crimean Tatar rights, Mustafa Jemiliev.  He had arrived that day in Simferopol for the first time since Russia’s military intervention and annexation of the peninsula and noticed that the flag was missing.

A police visitation followed swiftly with the police claiming that the flag would “provoke inter-ethnic enmity.”   Shekiev informed them that the building was private property and that he had no intention of removing the flag.  The police left, however two days later so-called Crimean “self-defence” thugs appeared and, using force against three women who tried to stop them bursting into the building, pulled down the flag.  It was reinstated shortly afterwards.

A day later, Mustafa Jemiliev was handed a document as he was leaving the Crimea which stated that he had been banned from entering the Russian Federation – which Moscow is claiming includes the Crimea – for 5 years (see: Russian Invasion – Crimean Tatar Tragedy.

There have been claims since that the document is a fake.  This would probably mean only that the Russian authorities have not stooped so low.  Mustafa Jemiliev was. after all, handed the document on the border with mainland Ukraine by officials.  

The legitimacy must be questioned of any of the people who have been raised to positions of authority since Sergei Aksenov, backed by armed soldiers in uniform without insignia, now effectively admitted by Vladimir Putin to have been Russian, took control on Feb 27.  In the latest of many very ominous moves, one of these puppet figures, has now invoked the Russian law on extremism effectively against the representative body of the Crimean Tatars.  

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