Nariman Jelal: We were prepared for Russia to ban the activities of the Crimean Tatar Mejlis

The lawyers of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People have examined the decision of the Russian Prosecutor of Crimea, Natalia Polonskaya, to ban the activities of the Mejlis within the territory of Russia.  The First Deputy Head of the Mejlis, Nariman Jelal, discussed this with the Krym.Realii news portal.

 “We have the statement and our lawyers are aware of the next steps to take.  We have already seen that there are many items of a suspicious nature in the statement.  The most conspicuous is the section regarding the Mejlis Public Association,” Jelal stated.   He said that the representative body of the Crimean Tatar People is not a Public Association "and it is also not so in Ukraine, Russia or anywhere else".

According to Jelal, the activities of the Mejlis “were based on the relevant provisions of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples of the United Nations”.

He stressed that the Mejlis were “mentally prepared” for such events.  The possibility of a ban of the Mejlis has been said many times.  "Now they have passed from words to deeds,” Jelal concluded.

He said that it was unclear whether Polonskaya sent the statement claim to the court, or if it was just a “PR campaign”.

On the 15th of February, Polonskaya reported that she presented a copy of the claim to Jelal.  She went on to explain that "recently, the Prosecutor's Office of the Republic of the Crimea People have been constantly receiving requests from the Crimean Tatar population to recognize the illegal and provocative activities of unregistered parties in the Russian Federation."

In the claim, published on the Facebook page of the Mejlis, Polonskaya requests "to acknowledge the Association of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People as an extremist organization and to ban its activities within the territory of the Russian Federation".

In addition to charges of rioting at the walls of the Verkhovna Rada of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea on the 26th of February 2014, the Mejlis is also charged with involvement in the blockade of Crimea whereby “the entire population of the peninsula was affected”.

  Ukraine, Crimea, Crimean Tartars