Latvia recognizes deportation of Crimean Tatars in 1944 as genocide
Latvian Parliament (the Saeima) published a statement dedicated to the anniversary of the deportation of the Crimean Tatars in 1944, recognizing it as an act of genocide, reported the news agency Delfi.
The statement of the Latvian Saeima says that the Soviet authorities carried out genocide against many peoples and ethnic groups, in particular, against the Crimean Tatars, to "move them out from their homeland." Also, the Parliament recalled that five years ago Russia annexed Crimea.
"Those Crimean Tatars who refuse to accept Russian citizenship and do not recognize the illegal annexation of Crimea face discrimination. They are forbidden access to education, medical services, forbidden to use their native language, to keep their traditions and culture. It is inconceivable that the Crimean Tatars are forcibly oppressed and persecuted for the second time in 75 years. History repeats itself," said the head of the Saeima Commission on Foreign Affairs, Rihards Kols.
The world commemorates victims of Deportation of the Crimean Tatars of 1944 on May 18. According to official data, more than 183 thousand Crimean Tatars were deported at that time. According to Crimean Tatar sources - more than 228 thousand, of which about 110 thousand died during the 1,5 years.
In March 2014, Russia annexed Crimea and started the oppression of the Crimean Tatars again, in particular, Russian authorities banned the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people. In April 2019, Russian security forces conducted searches in the homes of 24 activists, detained Crimean Tatars were taken to Russia.