Amnesty International: Ban on ethnic Crimean Tatar assembly aimed at snuffing out dissent
A decision to suspend the Mejlis, a representative body of ethnic Crimean Tatars in Crimea, demolishes one of the few remaining rights of a minority that Russia must protect instead of persecute, Amnesty International has said.
"The decision – announced by the de facto prosecutor of Crimea, Natalia Poklonskaya – signals a new wave of repression against Crimean Tatar people. It comes after increased attacks to the rights to freedom of assembly, association and expression since Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine two years ago," Amnesty International said in a statement issued late on April 13.
"Anyone associated with the Mejlis could now face serious charges of extremism as a result of this ban, which is aimed at snuffing out the few remaining voices of dissent in Crimea," Denis Krivosheev, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for Europe and Central Asia, said.
The decision to suspend the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People and ban all its activities under Russia’s anti-extremism legislation is a repugnant punitive step denying members of the Crimean Tatar community the right to freedom of association, Amnesty International said.
As it was reported, prosecutor of the Russia-occupied Crimea Natalia Poklonskaya suspended an activity of Mejlis of Crimean Tatar people.
"Today I took a decision to suspend the activities of the NGO 'Mejlis of Crimean Tatar people' with an aim to not admit a violation of the federal legislation. Mejlis is banned from using all state and municipal media, to carry different public mass events, to use bank deposits and to carry any policy at all. All their propaganda will be banned," reads prosecutor's report posted on her page in Facebook.
She said the decision to suspend the work of Mejlis will be valid until Crimean Supreme Court's ruling to ban this organization's work on the territory of Russian federation in view of its destructive activity, and recognition it as an extremist organization.