World Bulletin / News Desk
The Crimean Tatar Mejlis (Parliament) has announced its plan to go ahead with the annual Crimean Tatar National Flag Day on June 26, despite a ban on demonstrations in the peninsula which was enforced weeks ago by the local Russian authorities.
“The Crimean Tatar National Flag Day, an event that is conducted annually on June 26, will be held this year,” Crimean Tatar Mejlis head Refat Chubarov said in Akmescit (Simferopol) on Thursday.
”In set terms, according to Russian laws, it is not less than 15 days before the event, so we will appeal to authorities and inform them about all the measures that are planned to be held,” he added.
On May 18, the Mejlis defied a protest ban by gathering Crimean Tatars to commemorate the thousands of Crimean Tatars who were killed during the mass deportations of 1944 at the hands of Josef Stalin's Soviet Union.
The Mejlis was also threatened with being shut down by the Crimean chief prosecutor after organizing thousands of Crimean Tatars to greet former Mejlis chief and Ukrainian MP Mustafa Jemilev as he tried to enter the peninsula.
70-year-old Jemilev was banned from entering Crimea by the local parliament for allegedly disrupting peace in the region.
PROTESTS IN MOSCOW
Crimean Tatar Mejlis head Refat Chubarov noted that the assembly is debating whether or not they should hold a protest in Moscow to mark the mass deportations of 1944.
“There are some countrymen, who propose to remember the Soviet era, when Crimea Tatars held rallies in Moscow. These propositions are being discussed but still no certain decision has been made,” he said
Thousands of Crimean Tatars, who are the native Turkic-speaking Muslim population of the peninsula, died during the ethnic cleansing campaign 70 years ago. Many of them were forcibly moved to central Asia and the Caucasus, while some others sought refuge in Turkey.
After the fall of the Soviet Union, many chose to return to Crimea. Today, the 300,000 Crimean Tatars in Crimea make up around 13% of the overall population, which is dominated by ethnic Russians.
Crimean Tatars complained that they were not consulted when the Crimean Parliament declared independence from Ukraine and joined Russia in the lead up to a March referendum that saw the vast majority of participant vote for annexation.
Crimean Tatars on their part boycotted the referendum, challenging its legality as it was held under the threat of pro-Russian militias who had occupied the peninsula.
JEMILEV GIVEN 1944 FILES
The head of the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) Valentin Nalyvaichenko handed over archive documents concerning the deportation of Crimean Tatars in 1944 to Crimean Tatar leader Mustafa Jemilev, in Kiev, on Thursday.
Nalyvaichenko also noted that the second part of the documents concerning Crimean Tatar soldiers is to be prepared soon.
In return, Mustafa Jemilev said that the documents will help historians to “find the truth” over the deportations.
According to the SBU statement, among the passed documents, there are unique materials on plans on the realization of the two-day deportation process.Last Mod: 31 Mayıs 2014, 16:50