On Monday, 5 October 2020, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine held an online briefing for the diplomatic corps and media to address the ongoing political persecutions by the Russian occupying authorities in Crimea against the leadership and representatives of the Crimean Tatar people.
Emine Dzhaparova, First Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, Mustafa Dzhemilev, Leader of the Crimean Tatar people, Refat Chubarov, Chairman of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people, Lenur Isliamov, Vice President of the World Congress of Crimean Tatars, and Nikolay Polozov, lawyer, participated in the briefing.
The briefers informed that the Russian occupying authorities in Crimea have initiated several unlawful criminal cases against Mustafa Dzhemilev, Refat Chubarov and Lenur Isliamov to suppress their resistance to the temporary occupation of the Ukrainian peninsula. It is a strong belief that the Russian Federation is trying to discredit the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people and its leadership.
“The Russian occupants are sparing no effort in persuading the international community that the Mejlis is an extremist organization, that the leaders of the Mejlis are extremists and terrorists, and that Russia is persecuting only those Crimean Tatars who constitute a threat to its national security”, Refat Chubarov said.
In his turn, Nikolay Polozov added that the criminal cases have no legal basis and are totally fabricated. “Because of the political component, we observe significant violations of the criminal proceedings, including the right to legal protection, which make justice completely unachievable”, Polozov stressed.
Mustafa Dzhemilev informed about his intention to prove the absurdity of the Russian accusations in the European Court of Human Rights.
To counter gross violations of human rights and systematic disinformation, the leadership of Ukraine announced the establishment of the international forum entitled Crimean Platform, which will help to address the challenges emanating from the occupation of Crimea.
“The Crimean Platform is set to function on a few levels. The first – the highest political level – will include heads of states; the second – foreign and defense ministers; the third – parliamentarians; and the fourth – experts”, Emine Dzhaparova noted.
The First Deputy Minister underlined that the main objective of the Crimean Platform will be to keep the occupation of Crimea in the focus of constant international attention. “In the framework of the platform, in 2021 we are going to hold a Crimean Summit. However, the exact date yet to be determined. There are a few dates in mind, but the final decision will be made taking into account different factors. The ultimate goal of the summit is to form a coalition of states that will join our initiative and will help Ukraine to boost the highest political attention to the issue of the occupation of Crimea and its consequences”, said Dzhaparova.
The First Deputy Minister also stressed that the platform of international action advancing collective efforts to protect and release Ukrainian political prisoners under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is another important tool in protecting the rights of Ukrainian citizens living in the occupied territories.
“First of all, we are talking about the promotion of international advocacy for the protection of rights of Ukrainian citizens who have been unlawfully detained in the occupied Crimea or the Russian Federation,” – added Emine Dzhaparova.