war crimes in Ukraine

The Tribunal for Putin (T4P) global initiative was set up in response to the all-out war launched by Russia against Ukraine in February 2022.

Russian ban on Mustafa Dzhemiliev enforced

Halya Coynash

Please scroll down for the decision by the Mejlis passed on Thursday evening in response to the ban on Mustafa Dzhemiliev returning to the Crimea via Moscow

On Friday Mustafa Dzhemiliev, veteran leader of the Crimean Tatar people and Ukrainian MP, was stopped at Moscow airport after arriving from Kyiv. He was not allowed through passport control and informed that he is prohibited from entering the Russian Federation.  He was planning to fly on to Simferopol but was forced to return to Kyiv.

He was accompanied by the deputy head of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People, Aslan Omer Kirimli who is also on his way back to Kyiv.

As reported, Mustafa Dzhemiliev was informed of a five-year ban on entry to the Russian Federation on April 22, three days after arriving in  Simferopol for the first time since Russia’s annexation of his homeland. 

Claims were made the following day both in Russia and in the Crimea that the document was a fake and that no ban had been imposed. Today’s events in Moscow show the worth of such assurances.

They are as false as all other promises handed the Crimean Tatars following Russia’s intervention.  No attempts were made to discuss the so-called Crimean constitution with Crimean Tatar representatives, nor to recognize their specific needs. 

Dzhemiliev reports that repressive measures have been taken against Crimean Tatars who refuse to take Russian citizenship and that Russian Federal Security Service are fairly openly watching Crimean Tatars in mosques “taking note of whose beard is longer, how religious people are, so that [those more religious] automatically are categorized as Islamic radicals”.

A representative of the Mejlis has already received an official warning over the reinstatement of the Ukrainian flag over the Mejlis building following Dzhemiliev’s return on April 19.  The warning asserts that the flag was raised “for propaganda and public demonstration purposes with this serving to arouse social and ethnic enmity and constituting propaganda of exclusiveness”.

Sergei Aksenov, leader of the puppet government installed after armed soldiers, believed to be Russian, seized government buildings on Feb 27, stated on April 23 that Jemiliev can come to the Crimea when he chooses but “only with good intentions” and willingness to support those actions which the government of the Crimea is now carrying out.

The ban is thus in place, since those actions and Russia’s annexation of the Crimea are not and cannot be supported by the Crimean Tatars, Kyiv and democratic countries.

Aksenov’s words reflect the calibre of the people the Kremlin has used for its territorial aggrandizement. 

Russia and its puppets seem woefully unaware of the calibre of those they see as  antagonists.  It is no accident that Mustafa Dzhemiliev has recently been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.  Dzhemiliev was just 6 months old when the Crimean Tatars were deported from their homeland and he has spent his life defending the rights of the Crimean Tatar People, and supporting democracy and freedom for all people of Ukraine.  His steadfast commitment to non-violence played a vital role in enabling the return of the Crimean Tatars following Ukraine’s independence and countering forces in the Crimea seeking to stir up conflict.  It was largely thanks to Dzhemiliev’s influence and his positive legacy that attempts by pro-Russian groups to provoke violent resistance from Crimean Tatars, in particular following the Russian intervention, proved unsuccessful. 

There is every reason for Ukrainian and international organizations to add their voices in support of Mustafa Dzhemiliev’s nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize.

With the seventieth anniversary of the Deportation just weeks away, voices of protest from EU and US structures against this barbaric decision to ban Dzhemiliev are also urgently needed. 


The Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People passed a decision on Thursday evening in response to the refusal by the Russian authorities to allow Mustafa Dzhemiliev to fly to Simferopol via Moscow.

It calls the ban imposed “a flagrant violation of the right to freedom of movement, particularly with regard to the legendary human rights defender and leader of the Crimean Tatar people, Mustafa Dzhemiliev returning to his homeland – the Crimea, where his family, relatives and friends live”.  The ban has aroused outrage among Crimean Tatars.

“In this situation and in order to prevent further violations of the rights of the Crimean Tatars, the indigenous people of the Crimea who in Soviet times suffered total deportation from their homeland and were held by force in the places of resettlement for nearly half a century, the Mejlis has decided:

1. To condemn the ban by the Russian authorities on Mustafa Dzhemiliev, legendary human rights defender and leader of the Crimean Tatar people freely entering his homeland as a flagrant violation of the right to freedom of movement, as a cynical ban on his coming to his homeland;

2.  To cancel the national festival Khydyrlez planned for May 3 2014 as being inappropriate in conditions where the authorities are flagrantly violated human rights and the rights of the Crimean Tatar people;

3.  To instruct delegates of the Kurultai of the Crimean Tatar People, the heads of regional mejlis to explain to the public the reasons which prompted the Mejlis to take this decision;

4. To hold a peaceful action from 9.00 on May 3 to meet the legendary human rights defender and leader of the Crimean Tatar People, Mustafa Dzhemiliev at the entry to the Crimea at the Armyansk checkpoint.

Refat Chubarov, Head of the Mejlis

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