By recognizing the Crimean Tatar Mejlis an extremist organization and banning its activities, the Crimea’s occupation authorities hope to stop the Crimean Tatar national movement. Despite the ban, the Mejlis activities will continue in free of occupation Ukrainian territory with its main office in Kyiv, said Mustafa Jemilev, Leader of Crimean Tatars, Ukrainian MP and Commissioner of Ukrainian President on Crimean Tatars Affairs, as reported by Gazeta.ua.
“Mejlis – it is not just 33 people elected by Qurultai (National Congress) through a secret ballot, but the whole structure of the national self-government. These are 230 local and regional Mejlises and their members, about two and a half thousand people. Occupiers recognize them extremists, and obviously there will be repressions against them. By this logic, the people who elected these bodies are also extremists. Russia turns all the indigenous people of Crimea against itself,” said the Leader of the Crimean Tatar people.
Jemilev noted that the Russians are afraid of the Mejlis, so they are trying to stop its activities by all means.
“Russians violated their own law even before the "trial," recognizing the Mejlis an extremist organization. They think they stop the Crimean Tatar national movement by banning the Mejlis. That is not so. The Soviet government also prohibited the national movement of the Crimean Tatars declaring them extremists and putting them in prison. In the end, the Soviet Union collapsed, and the movement of the Crimean Tatars continues. The same thing will happen to Russia,” said Mustafa Jemilev.
He noted that a meeting of the Mejlis members staying on the mainland Ukraine will be held in the near future. The Mejlis activities will continue in free of occupation Ukrainian territory with its main office in Kyiv.
April 13, 2016, the "Prosecutor of Crimea" Natalia Poklonskaya suspended the activities of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people in Crimea and claimed that the decision will be valid pending the verdict by the “Crimean Supreme Court.”
April 15, 2016, a hearing in the Mejlis ban was adjourned until 25 April. One of the reasons was the absence of the Mejlis Deputy Chairman Nariman Jelal.
April 18, 2016, the Russian Ministry of Justice has put the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people on the list of public and religious organizations banned “due to their extremist activities.” This action has been condemned by Ukraine, a number of international organizations and human rights defenders.
On April 26, the illegitimate Crimean Court delivered a verdict in the Mejlis case, recognizing it an extremist organization and banning its activities in Russia, including Crimea.
The Head of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people Refat Chubarov said that the international organizations, including the United Nations, will respond to the Russia’s banning of the Mejlis by taking relevant actions in the coming days. He also noted that due to the illegal Russia’s court decision, the representative body of the Crimean Tatar people will carry out its activities in Kyiv, where a Special Council is being implementing, which includes Mustafa Jemilev, Leader of the Crimean Tatars, Refat Chubarov, Mejlis’s Chairman and 8 Mejlis members.
Nariman Jelyal, Mejlis First Deputy Chairman, said at the court hearing on April 26 that international organizations, such as the UN, the OSCE, the Turkish government, the United States and the European Union expressed their support for the Mejlis.