KYIV (QHA) -

The Head of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People Refat Chubarov said he disagrees with a report by the Council of Europe on the situation with human rights in Crimea, reported DW.

- The report says that in temporarily occupied Crimea harassment and persecution are experienced only by the activists who disagree with the Russian regime, but not the Crimean Tatars as an ethnic group. We strongly disagree with this conclusion, Chubarov said April 21 at a round table held in Strasbourg in the framework of the PACE session.

Chubarov stressed that representatives of other religious denominations in Crimea, except Muslims, are not searched by the Russian Security Forces, and a ban on the Mejlis "is the best proof that the Russian occupation authorities conduct the extermination policy against the Crimean Tatar people."

The authors of the report focused their attention on the situation of the Crimean Tatars in the occupied peninsula. The document reflects the situation with human rights protection in Crimea, compliance with standards laid down in the European Convention on Human Rights, in particular, freedom of assembly, expression, media, rights of the national minorities and a right to a fair trial. The experts also examined the specific facts of human rights violations, namely the disappearance of the Crimean Tatar activists.

The mission of the Council of Europe has been actually the first international mission on the peninsula since Russia’s occupation in March 2014. According to the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, it was possible to conduct the mission thanks to Ukraine-Russia political consultations.

According to the Mejlis representatives, despite an extremely tight schedule the PACE President Pedro Agramunt and Human Rights Commissioner of the Council of Europe Nils Muzhnieks canceled all scheduled meetings in order to meet with Refat Chubarov. This shows that Europe is really concerned over the fate of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People.

This concern is also proved by the fact that the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Thorbjorn Jagland, who initiated and assisted in sending mission to Crimea, said that the aim of the Council of Europe is to protect the rights of every person, no matter what the circumstances are and where he or she lives on the European continent.

- I hope this report will be the basis for a fruitful discussion on what the Council of Europe can do for the people in Crimea, said Jagland.

PHOTO: QHA

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