Occupation of Crimea as a Reason for Resettlement of the Population

September 20, 2019

Report of the Chairman of the Board of the Crimean Tatar Resource Center, member of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people Eskender Bariiev at the OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meeting 2019 Work Session 9: “Occupation of Crimea as a reason for the resettlement of the population”.

The occupation of Crimea as a reason for the resettlement of the population

The Crimean Tatar people became a minority in their homeland, as a result of a deliberate policy of genocide after the annexation of Crimea by Russia in 1783 and total deportation in 1944.

The Russian occupation of Crimea in 2014 and the ensuing systemic repressions, detentions, interrogations, searches and arrests, illegal transfer to Russian prisons, forced abductions and killings caused a new mass migration of the indigenous people.

Active replacement of the population of Crimea is being carried out.

Crimean Tatars and Ukrainians are purposefully squeezed outside Crimea as people disloyal to Russia. Crimean Tatars and Ukrainians are scapegoated as enemies of the people, the criminal proceedings are opened against them in the so-called Hizb ut-Tahrir and Ukrainian saboteurs cases, promoting the threat of Islamic and Ukrainian terrorism.

More than 200 thousand Russians were brought from Russia to Crimea, and about 50 thousand pro-Ukrainian citizens were forced to leave it – this is a direct violation of the 4th Geneva Convention;

In Crimea, they are forced to take Russian passports, and those who refuse are deported from Crimea. A case in point is Nedim Khalilov, who was kept in a filtration facility for 1.5 years in Russia.

In the first half of 2019 alone, 69 detentions were recorded in Crimea, 59 of them against Crimean Tatars, 97 interrogations, 59 of them against Crimean Tatars, 73 searches, 55 of which in Crimean Tatar households, and among 200 arrests, 138 were in relation to Crimean Tatars.

Today, 100 people are held in FSB prisons, 89 of whom are Crimean Tatars. 50 political prisoners were illegally transferred to Russian prisons.

Among 17 people kidnapped and not found, 13 were Crimean Tatars; among 18 killed, 12 were Crimean Tatars.

Systemic repressions are also conducted in relation to the members of Mejlis. I can’t live in my own house in my native land. As a member of Mejlis, I was personally persecuted by the Russian special services and was a subject of opened criminal cases. They searched my house, knowing that they would not find anything. Such searches and detentions were carried out at more than 20 members of Mejlises of all levels.

By the decisions of the occupation courts on December 24, 2018, and January 29, 2019, I was arrested in absentia and put on the international wanted list because I actively speak at various venues of the UN, OSCE, CE, etc.

The leaders of the Crimean Tatars Mustafa Dzhemilev and Refat Chubarov were deported from their native land.

The journalist Gulsum Khalilova was accused of participating in an armed formation on the territory of a foreign state and was arrested in absentia.


On the international level:

1. Develop an Indigenous Peoples Action Plan in the OSCE region,

2. The OSCE Member States must keep demanding from Russia the implementation of the Interim Decision of the UN ICJ, the Resolutions of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, on the annulment of the decision to ban the Mejlis;

3. It is necessary to create a systemic dialogue between the OSCE and other international organizations and bodies on the situation with human rights in Crimea in order to ensure synergy of efforts;

Russian Federation:

1. Implement the interim decision of the UN / IS; cancel the decision of the Supreme Court of Russia on the prohibition of the Mejlis and allow it to work on the territory of Crimea;

2. Fulfill all its obligations as an occupying power, exercising de facto control over Crimea, in accordance with applicable international law;

3. Release 100 political prisoners in Crimea;

4. Investigate the enforced disappearances of Ervin Ibrahimov and ten other Crimean Tatars;

5. Stop the replacement of the population of Crimea.

The Crimean Tatar people need the support of the international community. A timely response to a violation of human rights in the occupied Crimea can save people from tortures and save their lives.

Chairman of the Board

Crimean Tatar Resource Center,

Member of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people

Eskender Bariiev