Zarema Bariieva informed the UN about the violation of the rights of indigenous Crimean Tatar women

November 22, 2022

Manager of the Crimean Tatar Resource Center Zarema Bariieva during the 83rd session of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women in Geneva spoke about the situation of Crimean Tatar women in the occupied Crimea, as well as in the newly occupied territories of Ukraine.

Dear  members of the Committee!

As a representative of the indigenous Crimean Tatar people I’m here with you today while my country is being shelled by Russian bombs and missiles for almost 8 months, the motherland of the indigenous Crimean Tatar people is under Russian occupation for more than 8 years.

Just within 8 years  12 women were murdered, 7 criminal cases and hundreds of administrative cases against indigenous women were fabricated, 19 searches were conducted in the dwellings of Crimean Tatar activists.

The deterioration of human rights situation in the region through the development  of anti-terrorism laws and misuse of Russian legislation suppress the voices of indigenous women.

Traditionally, Crimean Tatar women took an active part in political life. Due to the prohibition of Mejlis hundreds of women of the indigenous Crimean Tatar people are limited in the right to exercise their own representative functions, since staying in this capacity on the territory of the Crimean peninsula threatens to be prosecuted as a member of an "extremist organization".

After a full-scale war and occupation of new territories, Crimean Tatar women, who lived compactly in Kherson and Zaporizhia regions, also became victims of persecution by the Russian occupants. Leila Ibrahimova  director of the Melitopol Museum of Local Lore  was the first victim abducted from her house with a bag on her head, while the house of Gulnara Bekirova, a member of  Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people was repeatedly searched in absentia.

Since occupation of the peninsular, Crimean Tatar women – lawyers defending political prisoners of Kremlin are systematically persecuted by occupational administration.

Indigenous lawyer Emine Avamileva was subjected to administrative arrest for 5 days in May of this year, while she was performing her professional duty.

On August 2022, lawyer Lilia Hemedzhi was deprived of her professional status by the Chamber of Lawyers of the Chechen Republic at the request of the Department of the Ministry of Justice.

I would like to ask the Committee to pay attention to the fact that the situation with indigenous Crimean Tatar women is practically not reflected in the report submitted to the Committee for review by Ukraine.

In this regard, I recommend CEDAW to investigate the issue of women's involvement in the peacebuilding process and their role in the negotiation process to achieve sustainable peace and to develop a mechanism for the effective protection of indigenous women who have been persecuted by the state.