Statement by the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people in connection with the abduction of Irvin Ibragimov, Board Member of the Coordination Council of the World Congress of Crimean Tatars, in Crimea.

There has been another crime committed against the Crimean Tatar people in temporarily occupied Crimea.

Erwin Ibragimov, 30, Board Member of the Coordination Council of the World Congress of Crimean Tatars, was kidnapped in Bakhchisarai at around 11 pm on May 24, 2016. Surveillance camera footage shows several unidentified persons, presumably wearing Russian police uniform, forcibly putting Erwin Ibragimov in a minibus.

More than 20 Crimean Tatars have been reported abducted in Russia-occupied Crimea since March 2014. The bodies of some of them, bearing torture marks, were later recovered but none of the crimes was properly investigated.

Erwin Ibragimov’s kidnapping, as well as abductions of other Crimean Tatars, are meant to further intimidate and suppress the Crimean Tatar people, as well as apply psychological pressure on all the people living in Crimea.

Numerous illegal searches, arrests, detentions and prosecutions of Crimean residents, mostly Crimean Tatars, also serve the same goal.

Crimes in Russian-occupied Crimea, such as incarcerations, kidnappings and other severe deprivation of physical liberty, persecution against any identifiable group or collectivity on political, racial, ethnic, cultural, religious or other grounds, are perpetrated in violation of fundamental rules of international law. Recognized as impermissible under international law, they are defined as crimes against humanity under Article 7 of the Rome Statute, while their perpetrators are to face criminal responsibility, irrespective of whether they were committed in war or peacetime.

Therefore, responsibility for the crimes against human life, health and freedom, as well as individual honor and dignity, perpetrated by the Russian occupation authorities in Crimea, is to be placed squarely at the feet of the Russian Federation.

The Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people, calls on the President of Ukraine, international organizations and governments of the UN member states to take all steps necessary to make the Russian Federation cease without delay gross violation of the Crimean Tatars’ rights, such as kidnappings, murders, illegal searches and detentions , incarcerations and prosecution, in Russian-occupied Crimea,.

The Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people urges the EU, the Council of Europe, other international organizations, governments of the UN member states to take action against every crime committed by the occupation authorities in Crimea prior to its de-occupation by imposing new economic sanctions against Russia and increasing its political isolation.

This statement has been drawn up in accordance with the emergency modus operandi of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people which has been in effect since April 26, 2016.

May 25, 2016