New pressure on Crimean Tatar Mejlis
A week after the chief editor of the Mejlis’s newspaper Avdet received a summons over supposed complaints of ‘extremism’, the Crimea Foundation, the charitable arm of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People has also been summoned to account for its activities
On July 31 officials from the Crimean occupation regime’s prosecutor’s office brought a summons to the charity Crimea Foundation which is located in the same building in Simferopol as the Mejlis, or representative body of the Crimean Tatar People.
According to Ali Hamzin from the Mejlis, the summons demands that the Crimean Foundation appear on Thursday at the prosecutor’s office and provide reports of its work for the entire period of its existence. He points out that this is totally unrealistic since putting together such reports would take at least a few days.
The demands, Khamzin says, are excessive even from the point of view of Russian legislation. Nor does the summons refer to any specific decision.
Khamzin believes that those currently in power are using officials to put pressure on the Mejlis, and cannot exclude the possibility that the Crimea Foundation will be banned.
“The Crimea Foundation is very important for our organization, it is the charitable arm of our structure. I think they’ll definitely come up with some kind of infringements and it is quite possible that they will work towards banning the Foundation’s activities”.
Khamzin also pointed out that the founder of the Foundation is the Qurultai of the Crimean Tatar People. The president of this body is Mustafa Dzhemiliev, veteran Crimean Tatar leader and MP, who has been banned from his homeland by the Russian authorities. This should be borne in mind he says, and adds that they are experiencing pressure. If the situation worsens, both the Mejlis and the Qurultai will be forced to seek protection from international legal bodies.
As well as the bans on both Mustafa Dzhemiliev and the head of the Mejlis, Refat Chubarov, there has also been a search by armed men of a madrasa, or Muslim school. Only a week ago, the chief editors of two Crimean Tatar newspapers – ‘Avdet, the official newspaper of the Mejlis, and ‘Kyyrym’ – received summonses from the FSB or Russian Security Service after allegedly being denounced for ‘circulating extremist material’.
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