Deputy Chairman of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People, Nariman Dzhelyalov told one of the Ukrainian TV Channels the details of a today's hearing in the Mejlis case.
Tell us, please, about the today's hearing?
- We have been very surprised that the hearing ended before it actually started. Following the yesterday's trial, this morning the "State Committee" representative didn’t show up. Since the judges didn’t have time to study the documents they along with the claimant and the Prosecutor's Office filed a motion seeking to add some new documents such as inspection reports on Internet resources. The latter in their opinion go to prove "extremist" expressions by Refat Chubarov and Mustafa Dzhemilev. Of course, we asked for some time to consider the documents and the court abruptly adjourned until April, 15 this year.
If the Court rules to ban the Mejlis, what's next?
- The Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People is international structure acting on the territory of several states, including Ukraine. Due to objective circumstances, the Mejlis Head, who is also an MP of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, as well as certain Mejlis members had to leave Crimea for Ukraine. Moreover, under the decisions and resolutions by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine the Mejlis has been recognized as the representative body of the Crimean Tatar People, and thus it will continue carrying out its activities openly and freely on the territory of Ukraine and other countries. The ban will apply only to the territory of the Russian Federation and Crimea, which, de facto, are currently under Russia’s jurisdiction. However, it will not oblige us, the Mejlis members staying in Crimea, to implement this decision. Relying on the international law and existing legislation, we will carry out our public duty and voluntarily protect the interests of our fellow citizens.
What about the pressure on Crimean Tatars by occupation authorities that has been actively resumed recently?
- For the time being, there have not been any further operations with regard to the people detained at the cafe in the village of Pionerskoye. However, raids were conducted in the markets of Simferopol. I often meet people who openly practice Islam and they complain that the representatives of the Center for Counteraction to Extremism constantly treat them roughly: always masked men with automatic weapons, creation of such situations, and so on. As for now, we have no information on whether any administrative sanctions have been imposed on them. It creates an atmosphere of insecurity. Law enforcement officers visit some private institutions, where, in their opinion, members of illegal sects, groups and so on may gather. We believe these actions are attempts to put pressure not only on Crimean Tatars, but on society as a whole.