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Mejlis calls for boycott of Crimean elections

The Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People has issued a statement in which it points to the widespread rights violations seen in recent months in the Crimea, including violations of the rights of the Crimean Tatars and calls on all Crimeans to boycott the elections

The Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People has issued a statement in which it points to the widespread rights violations seen in recent months in the Crimea, including violations of the rights of the Crimean Tatars.

These include the following:

The failure to find the killers of Reshat Ametov, father of three small children, who was abducted by the so-called self-defence paramilitaries in the centre of Simferopol and found brutally tortured to death.

No sign of civic activists Leonid Korzh; Timur Shaimardanov and Seiran Zinetdinov.

Over a hundred Crimean Tatars who took part in a meeting with Crimean Tatar leader Mustafa Dzhemiliev at the administrative border between Crimea and mainland Ukraine and in protests against the ban on Dzhemiliev entering Crimea have faced court proceedings and draconian fines;

Crimean Tatars have been prohibited from gathering in the places where they traditionally hold events.  They were prevented, for example, from holding remembrance gatherings to mark the seventieth anniversary of the Deportation; Crimean Tatar Flag Day; and other notable dates.  Meanwhile representatives of other ethnic groups encounter no restrictions.

Those who organized and carried out attacks on children studying at the madrasa in the village of Bulhanak (Simferopol district) carried out by the FSB together with armed men in masks (more details here.  More information about the other violations here).

Attacks on mosques and madrasas, purporting to be ‘checks’ have become widespread.

The banishing from their homeland of Mustafa Dzhemiliev and the head of the Mejlis, Refat Chubarov, as well as a similar ban on the owner of Crimean Information Agency QHA and adviser to the Mejlis,  Ismet Yuksel (a Turkish national who has lived in Crimea for the last 20 years).

Prosecutor’s ‘warnings’ issued to head of Crimean Tatar self-government bodies, journalists and members of NGOs; ‘chats’ with FSB officers aimed at intimidating civic activists have all become common.

“At the same time, in order to conceal the above-mentioned and many other facts indicating systematic persecution of Crimean Tatars by the de-facto authorities and setting them against the rest of the population of the Crimea, efforts are being made to cause a schism in the unity of the Crimean Tatar people and bring about their disorientation.  The main thrust is against traditional views of Crimean Tatars in the sphere of socio-political and spiritual life. For this the authorities are hastily creating ‘civic organizations’ and parallel ‘muftiates’ under their control.

In these efforts the de facto authorities have not only placed their stakes on individuals who have gained notoriety among Crimean Tatars for consistently pandering to any regime, but also on several members of the Mejlis, namely Remzi Ilyasov, Zaur Smirnov and Teifuk Gafarov.  The latter have refused to be guided by the norms and rules of the Qurultay and the Regulations of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People”. 

The Mejlis has exhausted all possibility of convincing the said individuals that their actions are exacerbating the situation which is already bad, and is therefore removing Smirnov and Gafarov from their positions in the Mejlis.

Members of national bodies of self-government who have decided that they can take part in the Sept. 14 elections should resign from their positions in those bodies.

The Mejlis reiterates its decision from June 12, 2014:

It will not put forth candidates recommended by bodies of self-government for election to the Crimean parliament and municipal authorities.

It calls on all Crimeans, regardless of their nationalities, who consider that by violating the basic rights of the Crimean Tatars who are the indigenous people of the Crimea, discriminatory electoral laws will not foster the strengthening of inter-ethnic harmony; the establishment of equal dialogue and social justice in Crimea to not take part in the Sept 14 elections. 

From the statement, signed by Refat Chubarov, here

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