VILNIUS (QHA) -

Ukraine’s Presidential Commissioner on the Affairs of Crimean Tatar People Mustafa Dzhemilev reported on Facebook on the results of the working meeting with the President of Lithuania Dalia Grybauskaite.

During the meeting the parties discussed the difficult situation the Crimean people have faced, as well as serious violations of democratic freedoms in the Russia-annexed peninsula.

Mustafa Dzhemilev confirmed that Lithuania still does not recognize the referendum results and Russia’s annexation of Crimea.

- Lithuania strongly condemns the illegal occupation and annexation of Crimea. We support the Crimean Tatars and all Ukrainian citizens who currently have faced difficult problems. We adhere to a consistent position on sanctions against Russia, they cannot be lifted until Russia fully implements the Minsk Agreements and de-occupies Crimea, said Grybauskaite.

According to the Lithuanian President, a major concern is the intense militarization of Crimea. The peninsula is being converted into a Russian military base. After the occupation, Russian has deployed 24.5 thousand troops and weapons almost in the entire Black Sea region. The President said that Crimea can become the center "inciting instability and expansion of fire in the region."

Russian occupants are constantly violating the rights of the Crimean Tatars and Ukrainians and suppressing the freedom of expression. Due to the persecutions, a number of Crimean Tatar media have been forced to move to mainland Ukraine. The Crimean Tatar publications are shut down, libraries searched with restrictions on teaching the learners in native language imposed.

The freedom of religion is also pursued. The Crimean Tatars are accused of extremism, the mosques are searched. The leaders of the Crimean Tatar People are forbidden entry to Crimea.

In March, in the city of Simferopol, the occupying authorities launched legal proceedings seeking to ban the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People on charges of extremism.

The World Congress of the Crimean Tatar people (WCCT) is an organization bringing together Crimean Tatars living in their historic homeland of Crimea, as well as Turkey, Romania, Poland, USA, Canada, Lithuania, Western Europe and Central Asia. A first meeting of the World Congress of the Crimean Tatars, held in Simferopol /Aqmescit on May 9, 2009, was attended by 420 delegates from 13 countries. At that meeting, Refat Chubarov was elected the organization’s Chairman.

A second meeting of the World Congress of the Crimean Tatars, held in Ankara on August 1-2, 2015, was attended by 180 members of Crimean Tatar NGOs from 12 countries, as well as authorized representatives of government circles, NGOs and media. The meeting’s participants decided to establish an international non-governmental organization called ‘the World Congress of the Crimean Tatars" in order to promote Crimean Tatar self-governing bodies internationally. Refat Chubarov was re-elected Chairman of the World Congress of the Crimean Tatars at that meeting. Members of the Congress’ Executive Committee, comprised of 21 representatives, as well as members of the Audit Commission, were also elected during the meeting.

Three meetings of the Executive Committee were held in Romania and Ukraine - in Kiev and in the village of Chongar, Kherson region. The fourth meeting is now underway in Vilnius, Lithuania, and will go on from April 11, 2016 to April 13, 2016.

PHOTO: Facebook page of Ukraine's Presidential Commisioner on the Affairs of the Crimean Tatar People

QHA