Crimean Tatars evicted from second parliament building

The head of the Bakhchisaray Mejlis office, Ahtem Chiygoz, said that the incident was nothing but “repression against the Crimean Tatar executive body.”

Crimean Tatars evicted from second parliament building

World Bulletin / News Desk

A Crimean court has dissolved the rent contract with the Bakhchisaray office of Crimean Tatar Mejlis (Parliament) and evicted the Mejlis from the building.

Following the decision that was made by the Crimean court, the Bakhchisaray city administration stated “ignorance of treaty commitments, violations of rent contract payments and insurance of the leased property and using it not on purpose” as the reason for the eviction.

The head of the Bakhchisaray Mejlis office, Ahtem Chiygoz, said that the incident was nothing but “repression against the Crimean Tatar executive body.”

The Simferopol headquarters of the Crimean Tatar Mejlis, which was founded in 1991 to act as a representative body for Crimean Tatars after their return from almost five decades in exile, was seized by the pro-Russian authorities after a raid by Russian FSB officers on September 16.

Mejlis members were given 12 hours to clear out their Mejlis building, which was being leased by the Crimea Fund charity for the Crimean Tatar people, or else be evicted by force.

The Crimea Fund was later fined 50,000 rubles for failure to meet the eviction deadline and given a further 24 hours to leave after an order by the Central District Court of Simferopol prohibited the charity from carrying out any of its powers as owner of the Mejlis headquarters and six other addresses, including its right to lease or sell the properties.

Speaking to the Kommersant newspaper after the eviction, Prime Minister Aksyonov said “From the juridical angle, there is no such organization for me. Which Mejlis? The organization was not registered properly. It does not exist.”

Crimean Tatar leader Mustafa Jemilev, who is now based in Ukraine's Kiev after being deported due to his opposition to the annexation, called the seizure of Crimea Fund building, “a robbery raid.”

Current Mejlis head Refat Chubarov, who is also living in exile, said that the Crimean Tatar people have got no choice but to comply with the demands of the authorities.

3,000 TATARS LEAVE

Since the annexation in March, around 3,000 Crimean Tatars have left the peninsula for mainland Ukraine.

The U.N. has also pointed to the erosion of human rights in Crimea, which remains under the occupation of pro-Russian militias who particularly threaten the Crimean Tatars.

Crimean Tatars have complained that they have been targeted for speaking their Turkic language in public and have had their homes marked by pro-Russian militiamen.

The Crimean Tatars have largely opposed the annexation of Crimea by Russia, fearing a repeat of the events of 1944 when 190,000 Tatars were completely expelled as part of former Soviet dictator Josef Stalin's policy.

They gradually started returning in the early 1990s after the fall of the Soviet Union, but still live as a minority in their homeland as they were displaced by ethnic Russian settlers who migrated there later on. According to Ukraine’s 2001 national census, Crimea was home to 243,000 Tatars out of a population of around 2 million.

Since the annexation, Russia has been granting Russian citizenship to the people of Crimea in replacement of their Ukrainian nationality. Crimean Tatars, who have campaigned to reject Russian citizenship, reserve the right to remain as Ukrainian citizens, but will by default become foreigners in their homeland.

Last Mod: 26 Eylül 2014, 12:47
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