The purpose of the visit is to study the situation of Crimean Tatars and to find out how the problem of their return is settled.
Vice-chairman of the Majlis of Crimean Tatar nation Refat Çubar, the Chief of the secretariat Zahir Smedlâ and the Chief of the Foreign Affairs Ali Hamzin took part in the meeting
Honorary guest came accompanied by the executive director of the NGO Foundation on naturalization and human rights "Assistance" Ahtem Zeytullah, legal adviser to the regional office of UNHCR in Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova Dmytro Plechko.
Inge Sturkenboom thanked the members of the representatıve body for the warm welcome and explained the purpose of her visit to Crimea.
"I visit Ukraine because I want to know how the problem of refugees is settled here". As we know the Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons has come into force in Ukraine in June 23 and I am here to estimate how the UNHCR partner in Crimea - the Assistance Foundation copes with the issue of statelessness. I want to understand what the UNHCR does here, in Crimea ", - said the UNHCR adviser.
“The UNHCR office in Ukraine and its work in Crimea is extremely important for us," – claimed Refat Çubar.
«Over 20 years ago the Soviet Union broke up and the new states adopted their laws of citizenship and they (states - ed.) did not contact with each other. But, doubtless, the most important thing for us was the repatriation process of the Crimean Tatars to their Homeland. The problem is that the repatriation started in the united state, and it continued under conditions of the independent states. And all those who have passed citizenship laws, did not care about the Crimean Tatars. – said vice-chairman of the Majlis. There were times when more than 80,000 Crimean Tatars who had returned to Crimea, could not become the citizens of Ukraine because of they had the Uzbek citizenship. There were also other financial and legal issues. The problem was settled mostly thanks to the UNHCR; there were special agreements between Ukraine and Uzbekistan".
According to his, there are some problems in the process of return the Crimean Tatars to the Motherland, among them are the citizenship of Uzbekistan, issues of removal from the register, resettlement, etc.
Refat Çubar also stressed the number of repatriates annually is getting smaller. In 90’s the number of returnee was about 30-40 thousands people, but today it decrease to a few thousands.
After the meeting the participants visited so-called "protest glade" Lugove 2.
Chairman of the NGO Avdet Mustafa Mauş showed the visitors the microdistrict and stressed that 14 families are living here despite of the absence of any infrastructure. In total, there are about 503 parcels located in this region.
"The problem is that the government appeals for 20 years to the fact that occupation of these lands is illegal, - said Ali Hamsin. – For these reason, the Majlis had been planning to hold an international forum since 2010, you have probably heard about it. But Ukraine has not given a clear answer yet. Everything depends on it".
"Thank you for showing us this reality. It helps us to understand the problem "- said Inge Sturkenboom.