(QHA) -

Cooperation between Crimean Tatars and the authorities is possible on condition that Crimean Tatar leaders return to Crimea, Mejlis member Ilmiy Umerov wrote in Facebook.

“If the [authorities] want cooperation with Crimean Tatars, they should let Crimean Tatar leader Mustafa Jemilev, head of Mejlis of Crimean Tatar people Refat Chubarov and the others to Crimea. They should close all the fictitious criminal cases and release all those detained on groundless charges”- Umerov said.

Veteran Crimean Tatar leader Mustafa Jemilev was the first to be banned in April 2014 from entering Crimea and Russia for 5 years. The ban was upheld by a Moscow court in Feb 2015, after a migration service official asserted that the 71-year-old former Soviet political prisoner and Ukrainian MP had been banned for 5 years “to ensure the state’s defence capacity and security, and to safeguard public order.”

Similar bans have been imposed on Head of the Mejlis of Crimean Tatar people Refat Chubarov, and Ismet Yuksel—Mejlis Advisor on Affairs with Turkey, General Coordinator of Crimean News Agency.

One Crimean Tatar rights activist – Sinaver Kadyrov – was ‘deported’ from his native Crimea in January 2015.

5 Crimean Tatars are now facing alleged charges, laid over 6 months after the peaceful protests on May 3 when thousands of Crimean Tatars met Mustafa Jemiliev at Ukrainian Crimean border the day after Russia first imposed its ban on him.

QHA