(QHA) -

Scholars of Eastern Europe, Eurasia, and the Middle East expressed their deep concern over the current predicament of Crimean Tatars and called on states and organizations to support Crimean Tatars' national and human rights.

“We, the undersigned, are scholars whose work relates to these regions. We would like to express our concern at the situation of the Crimean Tatars since the Russian annexation of Crimea”- reads the statement.

The scholars pointed out the ban of Crimean Tatar leader, Mustafa Jemilev, from entering Crimea for five years and warnings to “liquidate the Mejlis”. They also condemned the ban of Crimean authorities to conduct mourning meeting, commemorating the 70th anniversary of the deportation of the Crimean Tatar people on 18 May 2014.

“Unlike Russians and Ukrainians, the Crimean Tatars have no homeland other than Crimea. Ever since the Crimean Khanate was invaded and abolished by Russia in 1783, in violation of the Treaty of Kuchuk Kajnardja of 1774 in which Russia pledged to respect the khanate’s independence, the Crimean Tatars have been the object of systematic and wholesale oppression”- the statement reads.

“We, the undersigned, urge all states, agencies, organizations, and individuals to join us in our support for the national and human rights of the Crimean Tatars—including their cultural, social, political, and economic rights”- summed up in the statement.

The authors are Idil P. Izmirli, School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution, George Mason University, USA; Victor Ostapchuk, Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations, University of Toronto, Canada; András Riedlmayer, Aga Khan Program, Harvard University, USA; and Maria Sonevytsky, Department of Music, Bard College, USA.

The statement was signed by 201 scholars.

The full article is available here: http://scholarsforqirim.com/authors-and-signatories/