The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry has strongly protested the decision of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation to uphold the decision to label the self-styled Crimean Tatar government Mejlis (Majlis) an extremist organization and ban its activities.
"Ukraine demands that the occupying state immediately reverses this decision, which is null and void in its essence and judicial nature, and completely ceases the persecution of the Crimean Tatar community in Crimea," it said in a statement.
The Foreign Ministry described a ban of the highest representative executive body of the Crimean Tatar people under the false pretext of "fighting extremism" as "an explicit affront by the occupying Russian authorities to the rights and interests of the Crimean Tatars".
"We consider this cynical decision a manifestation of racial discrimination. This is an expected step of Russia’s highest court, totally consistent with Kremlin’s current repressive policies which aims to fight against democracy and freedom and transform the occupied peninsula into a “grey zone” of terror and lawlessness," the statement reads.
By labelling the Mejlis’s work illegal and arbitrarily pursuing activists from this body and the Crimean Tatar people as a whole, the Russian Federation in fact operates with Stalinist methods, the culmination of which was the criminal act of the mass deportation and extermination of the Crimean Tatars in 1944, the ministry said.
Ukraine also appeals to its international partners to intensify actions to protect human rights in occupied Crimea, including to ensure unimpeded access for international and human rights monitoring organizations and their main conventional and monitoring mechanisms to provide for the continuous monitoring of respect for human rights.
"Ukraine will prove in courts the illegitimacy of all of the Russian Federation’s actions connected to the temporary occupation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, including the decision to label the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people an extremist organization and ban its activities," the Foreign Ministry said.
Ukraine believes that the definitive end of the persecution of the Crimean Tatars by the occupying authorities as well as other issues related to the illegal occupation of Crimea can only be achieved through the de-occupation of the territory and restoration of the foundations of international law and order therein, respect for international law and for human rights.
Ukraine will prove in courts the illegitimacy of all of the Russian Federation’s actions connected to the temporary occupation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, including the decision to label the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people an extremist organization and ban its activities.