Ukraine Should Be the Bulwark of Non-violent Resistance of the Crimean Tatars – Bariiev

October 23, 2019

Eskender Bariiev, Head of the Board of the Crimean Tatar Resource Center, member of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people, in an interview with “Nastoyaschee Vremia” talked about the activities of the Crimean Tatar Resource Center and the struggle for the liberation of Crimea that many people carry on in different parts of the world.

“When the occupation began, we established in Crimea a committee on the protection of the rights of the Crimean Tatar people, we launched a hotline, arranged press conferences, talked about the problems that Crimea was facing at that time. The occupiers didn’t like that, so we encountered systematic provocations and searches” – said Bariiev.

In 2015, after moving to mainland Ukraine, the Crimean Tatar Resource Center was established, which currently works in three areas: protecting human and collective rights for Crimean Tatar people in Crimea; policy-making activity; working on the strategy of de-occupation of Crimea.

The head of the CTRC talked about the campaign “United by flag – #LIBERATECRIMEA” when the Crimean Tatar flag traveled around the world for 9 months and visited 28 countries.

"Thanks to this campaign, we were the first to initiate the process of recognizing the deportation of the Crimean Tatar people as genocide by two parliaments: Latvia and Lithuania. Now we continue to work with deputies and parliaments of another 23 states to recognize deportation as genocide," said Eskender Bariiev.

A member of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people talked about other campaigns: “Candidate, say: whose Crimea?”, “Ukrainian Parliament, candidates, say: whose Crimea?”, “# European Parliament: candidates, say: whose Crimea?”. Bariiev also mentioned the work of the International Summer Camp – “Freedom Camps” and the Crimean Tatars Academy of Public Diplomacy, in the framework of which activists are trained to inform the international community about human rights violations in Crimea.

“We just recently held a campaign where we disrupted Tolstoy’s speech in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. One of our speakers stated that representatives of the Russian Federation should not be allowed to speak because they violate human rights and international law,” said Bariiev, adding that they heard people applauding in support of this campaign.

Explaining the purpose of the campaign, Bariiev said that recently there has been a lot of new people in parliament who need to be informed: “It is important that these people do not just hear, but see a real reaction, that we are fighting, that we are fighting not like terrorists, not with arms in hands."

"Ukraine should be the bulwark of our (Crimean Tatar) serious non-violent struggle. We are the citizens of Ukraine. This is the state that we share interests with and that can help us realize our rights. Therefore, we must fight for this state, " emphasized Bariiev.