Statement of Refat Chubarov, Chairman of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people on the occasion of the International day of indigenous peoples

August 9, 2016

The Chairman of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people Refat Chubarov on the occasion of the International day of indigenous peoples

​Dear brothers and sisters, the indigenous peoples! Every year on 9 August the whole world celebrates the International day of indigenous peoples, in honor of which governments and indigenous peoples’ organizations conduct various events in different parts of the globe. This year the International day of indigenous peoples deals with the right to education. Unfortunately, the last two years under the Russian occupation have become very dangerous for the Crimean Tatars, the Karaites and the Krymchaks – the indigenous peoples of the Crimea from the point of view of observance of the principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations, the Declaration of the United Nations on the rights of indigenous peoples. At the same time, the matter of interference by the Russian Federation, which occupied the Crimea, was not only the right to education but also the whole spectrum of individual human rights and collective right of indigenous peoples to live in freedom, peace, and security as indigenous peoples. In conditions of temporary occupation by the Russian Federation of Crimea, the indigenous peoples of the peninsula – the Crimean Tatars, the Karaites and the Krymchaks are completely deprived of the ability freely to exercise their activities aimed at the preservation of their own culture, their own lands, pre-emption of discrimination in various other fields. The subject of special discrimination by the Russian occupation authorities was the right of indigenous peoples to participate in decision-making in matters which would affect their rights, through representatives elected by them according to their own procedures, as well as to maintain and develop their own decision-making institutions. 26 April 2016 the so-called "Supreme court of the Republic of Crimea" recognized the Mejlis an extremist organization and banned its activities in Russia. Such "solution" of the Russian occupying authorities has caused widespread international condemnation. Abduction and killings of the Crimean Tatars, the illegal invasion of homes and mosques, illegal arrests and lawsuits against the members of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people and local bodies of the national self-government of the Crimean Tatars, activists of the Crimean Tatar national movement, who are Muslims, are aimed to displace indigenous people outside of its historic territory. Paying tribute to all those who, without abandoning his "self-determination", who contributed earlier and is contributing today to the effective cooperation between indigenous peoples, member countries and the United Nations system in a rapidly developing world, – recognize the International day of indigenous peoples as the identification of cultural, linguistic, racial, religious diversity and wealth of human civilization, – display solidarity of the Crimean Tatar people with all other indigenous peoples in their struggle for their inalienable rights, on behalf of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people congratulate all of you on the International day of world's indigenous peoples. 

Chairman of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people Refat Chubarov