Self-appointed Majlis on the warpath
History the confrontation of the Crimean Tatar Majlis with the Russian authorities began with a referendum on the accession of Crimea to Russia. At that time, the leaders of the organization tried to bargain for themselves the conditions to represent the entire Crimean Tatar people. Did not work out. In Moscow, they were well aware that the entire 33 was included in the composition of the Mejlis. They are elected kurultaem from 250 people. According to expert estimates, this entire superstructure was based on approximately six percent of the Crimean Tatars. But she enjoyed support abroad, mainly in Turkey. Moreover, for many years, the Majlis, who called himself “the parliament of the Crimean Tatar people,” did not bother with official registration.
The lack of social and legal responsibility made it possible to self-seize the Crimean lands, “protect” the business, arbitrarily dispose of the funds of the sponsors. Not accidentally, well acquainted with the situation on the peninsula, the head of the Republic of Crimea Sergey Aksyonov called the Majlis a “semi-criminal structure”.
Without bargaining with Moscow, the leaders of the Majlis began to convince the Crimean Tatars that their very resettlement from Central Asia to their historic homeland was provided by an independent Ukraine, and there was no need to expect anything from Russia except repression. The population is on guard. Only a sixth of the Crimean Tatars came to the referendum, which the leaders of the Majlis later speculated on at all political levels.
Soon life took its toll. Crimean Tatars began to actively cooperate with the Russian authorities. Created new national public organizations. The largest of them - the “Crimea” - has long surpassed the possibilities of the advertised Majlis. Activists of these organizations went to the municipal and state service, where they now serve the interests of the country and their people.
In January, European politicians decided to check how comfortable the Tatars in Crimea are today. The Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Thorbjørn Jagland, sent a representative delegation to Simferopol. It includes Ambassador Gerard Stoudman and members of the organization’s secretariat. The declared purpose of the visit is “to assess the state of human rights”.
The last week of January, the delegation traveled around the peninsula. She monitored seven topics - law enforcement, disappearances, the judicial system, the penitentiary system, the Crimean Tatars and other minorities, freedom of religion, freedom of expression and freedom of the media, freedom of assembly, education and humanitarian issues. The delegation held over fifty meetings in Simferopol, Yalta, Sevastopol and Bakhchisarai.
The interlocutors of the Council of Europe envoys, as noted in the report, were “numerous representatives of civil society, non-governmental organizations, religious societies, national minorities, including the Crimean Tatars”, as well as media workers and officials of local power structures. The delegation of the Council of Europe was given the opportunity to meet with the arrested deputy head of the “Majlis of the Crimean Tatar people” Ahtem Chiygoz.
What the mission of the Council of Europe saw in Crimea
Not particularly hoping for the objectivity of the European delegates, the head of the Crimean-Tatar movement “Kyrym” (“Crimea”) Remzi Ilyasov made a special statement to the press: “The Crimean Tatars expect that the truth about their life in the Russian Crimea will be reflected in the final report of the Council of Europe mission ".
Remzi Ilyasov had reason to be concerned. By the time the delegation of the Council of Europe visited the Crimea, the active member of the Majlis had already moved to the Kherson region of Ukraine. There he took up the usual land squatting, but his main business was to harm the Crimea and the Crimeans, including his fellow tribesmen. On the Ukrainian-Russian border, activists of the Majlis staged a food blockade of the peninsula, then an energy blockade, impeded the movement of people and transport, made terrorist appeals.
On this basis, the Republic Prosecutor’s Office appealed to the Supreme Court of Crimea with a lawsuit in which it requested “to recognize as extremist and ban the“ Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people ”, whose leaders initiated the blockade of the Crimea”. In late March, the court began to consider the claim. This is not a quick matter, because prior to the decision of the Supreme Court, the prosecutor’s office, by its special resolution, suspended the activities of the “public association“ Majlis of the Crimean Tatar People ”. Last Monday, on the basis of this decision of the Crimean Prosecutor’s Office, the Ministry of Justice of Russia introduced the “Majlis of the Crimean Tatar people” to the list of organizations whose work was suspended due to extremist activities.
Exactly by this date the report of the Council of Europe’s monitoring mission for January has ripened. He caused conflicting feelings and the possibility of alternative citation. Western media and some liberal publications in Russia, for example, are hooked on the provisions of the report, which deals with repression in the Crimea. There are references to “disproportionate use of force” during searches, cases of “disappearances among Ukrainians and Crimean Tatars”. It is especially emphasized that the recognition of the Majlis as an extremist organization will be "a new level of repression against the Crimean Tatars."
Objective observers draw attention to the clarification in the report that the cases of repression "seem to be directed at individual opponents - in particular, the Crimean Tatars or Ukrainians - rather than reflecting the policy of collective repression against the Crimean Tatars as an ethnic group."
The head of the “Majlis of the Crimean Tatar people” Refat Chubarov categorically disagreed with this conclusion of the monitoring mission’s report. Last Wednesday, he spoke at a PACE session in Strasbourg and criticized the report, the drafters of which did not see that “the policy of extermination is being carried out against the Crimean Tatar people by the occupation authorities”.
However, after the trip of the monitoring mission, such accusations no longer find a response even from the anti-Russian Council of Europe. At least, Chubarov’s abrupt speech made CE Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland cancel the previously scheduled meeting, at which the head of the Majlis intended to convey his assessment of the report and concern to the commission’s conclusions by the Council of Europe head.
However, this step of Jagland should not be overestimated. The irritation of the European politician largely caused the instructive, mentor tone of the Crimean Tatar demanding the Council of Europe that international missions in Crimea fulfill “the institution of the Commissioner for Human Rights, the relevant committees dealing with human rights, and monitoring on their behalf would be more objective and consistent with the real the state of things in the Crimea. "
Jagland could not tolerate such an address to himself. And maybe he understood that to defend today the “Majlis of the Crimean Tatar people”, accused of extremist activity in Russia, means taking responsibility for the energy and food blockade of the Crimea, for all the actions of the organization that forced the Justice Ministry Russia to make it to the list of extremist.
In Washington in this respect do not bother. They have their own experience of culturing extremist and terrorist organizations: from the ever-memorable Al-Qaida to today's ISIS. Against this background, the "Majlis of the Crimean Tatar people" still seems white and fluffy. Only life shows: extremists do not stop at small. They must stop the power. What the prosecutor's office of the Crimea and the Ministry of Justice of Russia have done now. Washington's suffering over the Majlis will not interfere with their actions ...