Mourning meeting, commemorating 70th anniversary of Crimean Tatar biggest tragedy, the deportation of 1944, meant to be the greatest in 23 years, since Crimean Tatars honor victims of the deportation on their Motherland. Still the hopes were not destined to be realized.
Just two days before the historical date, Crimean authorities made a decision to ban all mass demonstration in Crimea amid the unrest in south-east Ukraine. Hundreds of police officers and personnel armored vehicles encircled the Simferopol city center.
Instead of huge rally in Simferopol, Crimean Tatars gathered in their towns all over Crimea to honor the memory and pray for those, who did not survived during the genocide.
In Akmechet district of Simferopol, more than 15 thousand Crimean Tatars, among them veterans of Crimean Tatar national movement, who witnessed the tragedy of Stalin era gathered for a mass prayer.
Head of Mejlis of Crimean Tatar people Refat Chubarov, Crimean mufti Emirali Ablaev, veterans of national movement and the others spoke to crowd. Still, their speeches was accompanied with the roar of military helicopters, patrolling over the crowd, drowning out the speeches.
Crimean Tatar leader, Mustafa Jemilev, however, did not attend the events in Crimea over his ban to enter the region for 5 years. It is the first time Soviet dissident Jemilev was away from Homeland on May 18.
After the meeting, Mejlis of Crimean Tatar people typically adopted a resolution calling for "territorial autonomy" for the community, Crimean Tatar representatives in the government, and "an end to discrimination against and the repression of the Tatars of Crimea."
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