Human rights organisations issue joint statement on persecuting Crimean Tatars by Occupying Russia

Canan Kevser
11 January 2021, 15:32
Canan Kevser
11 January 2021, 15:32

Human rights organisations in Ukraine have issued a joint statement calling on the international community and democracies to condemn Russia’s actions in persecuting Crimean Tatars in Crimea, and calling for tougher sanctions to be imposed against the occupying state. 

The statement has published on the website of the ZMINA human rights organisation on January 11.

“We strongly condemn the ongoing persecution of Muslims and Crimean Tatar activists in the temporarily occupied Crimea on trumped-up charges,” human rights organisations said.

The statement also demanded that the government of the Russian Federation must:
– immediately release all political prisoners, including illegally detained and convicted members of the Bilohirsk group in a politically motivated criminal case against Crimean Muslims;
– stop other forms of persecution of Crimean Tatars and Crimean Muslims, including administrative arrests, criminal charges, confiscation of property and other forms of reprisals;
– immediately stop the use of the so-called anti-terrorist legislation of the Russian Federation for politically motivated persecution in the temporarily occupied territory of Crimea.

“We call on international organisations and governments of democracies to condemn Russia’s actions, increase sanctions pressure and facilitate the work of independent monitoring missions in Crimea,” the statement reads.

The document also calls on the Ukrainian authorities to develop and approve comprehensive legislation supporting Ukrainian political prisoners.

“We call on the Ukrainian authorities to investigate the persecution of Ukrainians in Crimea; to develop and approve comprehensive legislation in support of Ukrainian political prisoners; and to bring Ukrainian laws into line with international law by establishing liability for crimes against humanity and war crimes committed in the occupied Ukrainian territories,” the authors of the statement wrote.

According to ZMINA, more than 100 Ukrainian political prisoners are currently held in prisons in Russia and Russian-occupied Crimea. More than 70 of them are Crimean Tatar Muslims who are being prosecuted on blatantly fabricated charges of terrorism and extremism. About 200 young children were left without their parents.

The joint statement has signed by;

  • ZMINA Human Rights Centre
  • Association of Relatives of the Kremlin Political Prisoners
  • Center for Civil Liberties
  • Crimea-SOS
  • Crimean Human Rights Group
  • Media Initiative for Human Rights
  • Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union
  • Regional Centre for Human Rights
  • Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group