: :inin Kyiv (EET)

EU says ban on commemoration of Crimean Tatars` tragedy unacceptable

The Delegation of the European Union to Ukraine says that a prohibition against peaceful, independent public commemorations of the Crimean Tatars` historical tragedy when more than 240,000 people were deported from Crimea under Joseph Stalin`s rule is not acceptable.
”Today, 72 years on from the forcible deportation of the Crimean Tatars from their homeland, they again face persecution and intimidation,” an EU Delegation statement on the 72nd anniversary of the deportation of Crimean Tatars reads.
”Their rights and fundamental freedoms were gravely attacked through the recent banning of the activities of the Mejlis, their self-governing body, and its labelling as `an extremist organization` by the so-called Supreme Court of Crimea. Furthermore, recent reports of arrests of Crimean Tatar activists are of great concern,” the statement reads.
”The EU has repeatedly expressed its deep concern at the deterioration of the human rights situation in Crimea and Sevastopol since the illegal annexation by the Russian Federation, and calls for full compliance with international human rights standards and other obligations under international law,” it said.
On May 18, Ukraine commemorates victims of the genocide of the Crimean Tatar people. On this day in 1944, the People`s Commissariat for Internal Affairs, known as NKVD, began to expel the indigenous people of Crimea to Central Asia.
The occupying authorities of Crimea have banned mass memorial services for the victims of the genocide of the Crimean Tatar people, which were scheduled by the Mejlis for May 18.


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