Statement by Zarema Bariieva at the OSCE Supplementary Human Dimension Meeting

June 23, 2020

Statement by the manager of the Crimean Tatar Resource Center Zarema Bariieva at the OSCE Supplementary Human Dimension Meeting on the topic: “Freedom of expression and its relation to other fundamental freedoms”.

Dear Mr. Moderator, dear ladies and gentlemen!

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

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

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

Crimean Tatars and Ukrainians are purposefully pushed outside Crimea as a population disloyal to Russia. The image of the enemy nations is being created from the Crimean Tatars and Ukrainians, criminal proceedings are opened in the so-called “Hizb ut-Tahrir”, “Jehovah's Witnesses” and “Ukrainian saboteurs” cases, promoting the threat of Islamic and Ukrainian terrorism.

More than 400 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 4-th Geneva Convention;

In the first quarter of 2020, we registered 25 detentions  in Crimea, 14 in relation to the  Crimean Tatars, 28 interrogations, 18 in relation to  the Crimean Tatars, 15 searches  12 of them in Crimean Tatar households, and 97 arrests while 83 of them were  in relation to the Crimean Tatars: 13 – new arrests, 84 – extension of the detention periods. There were recorded 127 cases of violation of the right to a fair trial, 48 – to the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health.

Today 99 people are being held in FSB prisons, 71 of them are Crimean Tatars, 23 have restrictions or probation, 16 of them are Crimean Tatars, 26 people are prosecuted, 20 of them are Crimean Tatars, more than 50 political prisoners are illegally transferred to Russian prisons.18 people were abducted and not found until present, 13 of them are Crimean Tatars, another 51 were killed 21 of them are the representatives of the indigenous Crimean Tatar people.


At the international level:

1. To develop Action Plan in the OSCE region on Indigenous Peoples;

2. To create a systematic dialogue between the OSCE and other international organizations in order to ensure synergy of efforts;

To the Russian Federation:

1. To fulfill its all obligations as an occupying power, exercising de facto control over Crimea, in accordance with applicable norms of the international law;

2. Release 99 political prisoners of Crimea;

3. Stop religious persecution.