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Crimean Tatars Public Building Attacked. New Head of Crimea Recommends Them to Leave

April 22 2014, 09:38

On Monday, April 21, following a Russian presidential decree on rehabilitation of Crimean Tatars and other ethnic groups living in Crimea who had suffered from Stalin's purges, the building of Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people was attacked by a group wearing military uniforms without insignia, azh.kz reports.

This was announced by Reeza Shevkiev, a member of Mejlis and the director of Crimea Foundation. 

According to him, unknown people in camouflage, without presenting themselves rushed into the building to remove a Ukrainian flag from the building roof and replace it with a Crimean one.

As a result of this attack three women received injuries – a doorkeeper Zodiye Salieva, the press secretary Lilia Muslimova and the chief accountant Marlena Seytasanova.

After the group left, Crimean Tatars removed the Crimean flag and put up Crimean Tatars' flag on the building.

To recall, Mejlis is a public organization (representative body) of the Crimean Tatars. It is an executive body of national congress (Kurultai) of the Crimean Tatars, elected every five years at general elections.

Reeza Shevkiev says the foundation had broken no laws - since the building belongs to a public fund, not the government.

“Why during 23 years at meetings, on buildings were flags of Russia and you didn’t attack those places, but now you are uncomfortable with a Ukrainian flag?” Shevkiev said in a bid to clarify the situation. He received no answer however.

A Ukrainian flag was also removed on another occasion from the building after the March 16 referendum, but was erected back on March 19 after Mustafa Abdulcemil Kirimoglu, a Ukrainian MP came to Crimea. 

Crimea has unilaterally decided through a controversial referendum to leave Ukraine and join Russia, but the indigenous Tatar population opposed this decision.

New governor of Crimea Sergey Aksyonov wrote in his twitter that “if Mejlis continues provoking, we will have to admit this group an extremist one.” Aksyonov proposed Crimean Tatars to leave Crimea. “97% are for Russia! If you don’t like it, leave!” 

Mustafa Dzhemilev, a people's deputy of Verkhovna Rada (the Ukrainian Parliament) from Batkivshchina fraction, who was supposed to arrive to Crimea and in whose honour the flag had been raised was denied from entering Crimea - he was stopped in Kherson prior to the Crimea border gates by six armed men of the Crimean self-defense. They took away his documents giving no explanation for the denial.

Earlier, referring to his personal sources from Russian secret services Dzhemilev said that in the Federal Security Service of Russia they are thinking of deporting Crimean Tatars.

“The majority are for the deportation. So called, ‘cossacks” are already wondering about when Tatars are moving out and “distributing” their houses in advance.    

As reported earlier Crimean Tatars who refuse Russian passports, are being deprived of jobs, although, the Russian FM Sergei Lavrov denied the fact of discrimination of Crimean Tatars at the European commission on fight against racism.

In March in his address to the Federal Assembly, Putin declared it is necessary to take decisions for Crimea, “which will finish rehabilitation of the Crimean Tatar people”.

“It will be right if in Crimea there will be three equal state languages - Russian, Ukrainian and the Crimean Tatar”, noted Russian president had said.

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