SIMFEROPOL/AQMESCIT (QHA) -

A second hearing in a lawsuit seeking to recognize the Mejlis, a representative body of the Crimean Tatars, an extremist organization, and ban it from operating in Crimea, which was filed by the Prosecutor Office of Crimea, is due to take place on March 10, 2016.

The charges brought up against the Mejlis by the so called Prosecutor Office of Crimea are groundless and contrary to the international and Russian law.

By stubbornly calling the Mejlis, an elected representative body of the Crimean Tatars, an NGO, the Prosecutor Office of Crimea keeps ignoring the rights of indigenous peoples guaranteed under international law, e.g. the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which acknowledges the right of indigenous peoples to their representative bodies and urges states to cooperate with them.  

It was reported earlier that the Chairman of the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine urged to lift a ban on the Mejlisза imposed by the occupation authorities.

“Given the ongoing restrictions on the freedom of opinion, expression and assembly, as well as close surveillance on NGOs and civil activists, the Mejlis, as a representative body of the Crimean Tatars, is continuing to publicly protest against the events going in and with Crimea, condemn human rights abuses, as well as defend the interests of the Crimean Tatar people, which do not always coincide with those of the occupation authorities,” says a statement posted on the Mejlis’s Fecebook page.  

The Mejlis has also been pushing for the realization of the right of the Crimean Tatars, an indigenous people of Crimea, to self-determination guaranteed under international law, which also runs contrary to the ideology professed by the Russian Federation.

Having failed at getting the Mejlis to serve their interests, the occupation authorities are now trying to destroy it.

Not only will the banning of the Mejlis mean flagrant defiance of international law, but also pave the way to criminal prosecution of the thousands of Crimean Tatars, an indigenous people of Crimea.

It was reported earlier that a copy of a lawsuit seeking to ban the Mejlis was made available online.

QHA