A conference "Massive human rights violations in occupied Crimea" has been launched within the framework of a meeting of the Executive Committee of the World Congress of the Crimean Tatars, currently held in the Lithuanian Parliament building. The participants have been presented the facts of human rights violations in the Russia-annexed peninsula.

A civil activist, Coordinator of the Crimean field mission for Human Rights Alexandra Krylenkova from St. Petersburg reported on human rights violations in Crimea and told about the persecution of the Crimean Tatars by Russian Intelligence Services.

The reports were also delivered by President and co-founder of the Institute of Contemporary Law and Society Volya, Ivana Bilich, Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of Ukraine to the Republic of Lithuania Vladimir Yatsenkovsky, the leader of the Crimean Tatar people and the Ukraine’s Presidential Commissioner for the Affairs of the Crimean Tatars, Mustafa Dzhemilev, Chairman of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People, Chairman of the World Congress of the Crimean Tatars, MP Refat Chubarov, the Lithuanian Ambassador to Ukraine Marius Janukonis, as well as one of the organizers of the public initiative "Maidan of Foreign Affairs" Bohdan Yaremenko.

The speakers gave concrete examples of human rights violations on the peninsula, told about the pressure on the Crimean Tatars, encompassing searches, interrogations, arrests and opening of criminal cases, most of which are rigged up.

A separate topic was the problem of the media ban on the peninsula. Under the occupying power, the number of media in Crimea has been decreased by 88% with only pro-government resources being left. The journalists are constantly pressed and forbidden to spread information in their native language (Crimean Tatar and Ukrainian).

According to the speakers, the human rights activists are monitoring the situation in Crimea. The latter have recorded systemic and massive human rights violations, non-observance of the rights of national minorities. The work of occupying authorities is directed against the Crimean Tatars and Ukrainians. So far, more than 130 cases have been launched against activists in Crimea that has triggered concern of the international community.

These days the UNESCO is holding the 199-th session in Lithuania. The participants constantly urge Ukraine to provide coordinated pressure in order to protect the Crimean Tatars and Ukrainians in Crimea.

The Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of Ukraine to the Republic of Lithuania Vladimir Yatsenkovsky thanked the leader of the Crimean Tatars Mustafa Dzhemilev for preserving the honor of his people in their difficult struggle for freedom.

The World Congress of the Crimean Tatar people (WCCT) is the structure uniting the Crimean Tatars who live in their historic homeland, in Crimea, as well as in the Diasporas (Turkey, Romania, Poland, USA, Canada, Lithuania, Western Europe and Central Asia).

The first session of the World Congress of the Crimean Tatars was held on May 9, 2009 in Simferopol / Akmesdzhit and attended by 420 delegates from 13 countries with Refat Chubarov being elected the Chairman.

The second meeting, which was attended by 180 members of the Crimean Tatar public organizations from 12 countries, as well as the authorized representatives of government circles, public organizations and media, was held on August 1-2, 2015, Ankara. In the course of the meeting it was decided to establish the international public organization the "World Congress of the Crimean Tatars" in order to promote internationally the national self-government bodies of the Crimean Tatar people. The WCCT re-elected the Chairman Refat Chubarov, as well as the members of the Congress Executive Committee, which included 21 representatives, and members of the Audit Commission.

Three meetings of the Executive Committee were held in Romania and Ukraine (in Kiev and in the village of Chongar, Kherson region), the fourth session is being held on April, 11-14, 2016 in Vilnius (Lithuania).

Photo: QHA