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European Parliament condemns ban on Crimean Tatar body

MEPs lambaste "systemic and targeted persecution of Crimean Tatars".

European Parliament condemns ban on Crimean Tatar body

European Parliament condemns the banning of the Mejlis, the representative body of ethnic Crimean Tatars, EP website reported.

MEPs strongly condemn the decision of the so-called Supreme Court of Crimea on 26 April 2016 to ban the Mejlis, the legitimate and recognised representative body of ethnic Crimean Tatars,

The members of EP demand an immediate reversal of this decision, which they say constitutes "systemic and targeted persecution of Crimean Tatars" and "is an attempt to expel them from Crimea, which is their historical motherland".

They urge the Russian Federation, which under international humanitarian law bears ultimate responsibility as the occupying state in Crimea, to uphold the legal order in Crimea, protect citizens from arbitrary judicial or administrative measures, and conduct independent international investigations of any violations of international law or human rights committed by the occupying forces and the so-called local authorities.

The resolution also reiterates Parliament’s severe condemnation of "the illegal annexation of the Crimean peninsula by the Russian Federation" on 20 February 2014, which it says was a "breach of international law", and also its "full commitment to the sovereignty, political independence, unity and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognised borders".

On 26 April, the Russia- controlled "Supreme Court" of Crimea banned Mejlis, recognizing it as an extremist organization. The process was initiated by the so-called Crimean prosecutor Natalia Poklonskaya, who said that the Mejlis was allegedly collaborating with the organization Hizb ut-Tahrir, recognized a terrorist organisation in Russia.

After that, the Mejlis and Kurultay worked in the state of emergency, and the central office of the Mejlis was moved to Kyiv.