Washington has refused to recognize Russia’s decision to ban the activities of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatars.
“The United States does not recognize the legitimacy of the supreme court decision to ban the self-governing body of the Crimean Tatars – Mejlis. We reject the characterization of Mejlis as an ‘extremist’ organization, and condemn the suspension of the work of this democratic institution,” a US State Department statement read.
“Russia continues the practice of arbitrary arrests of the Crimean Tatars, kidnappings and politically motivated prosecutions, restrictions of freedom of movement and police raids in their homes and mosques,” the statement added.
Washington has called on Moscow to “immediately stop these unacceptable practices.” The statement said that US sanctions will remain in force until Russia returns control of the Crimea to Ukraine.
The decision on the recognition of the Mejlis as an extremist organization was made by the Supreme Court of the Crimea on April 26, satisfying the claim of the prosecutor of the republic, Natalia Poklonskaya. Russia’s Supreme Court upheld the decision on September 29.