To counter gross human rights violations and systemic misinformation, Ukraine’s leadership has announced the creation of an international platform to take care of Crimea’s problems – the Crimean Platform.

“The Crimean platform will work on several levels. The first is the highest political level, which will be joined by foreign heads of states. The second is the level of foreign Ministers and Defence Ministers. The third is the inter-parliamentary level. And the fourth is the level of experts,” said Emine Dzhaparova, First Deputy of the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

She noted that the key task of the Crimean platform will be to maintain the consequences of the occupation of Crimea in the focus of constant international attention: “Within the framework of the platform, the Crimean summit is planned. According to the date of the summit, the summit will be held in 2021, but the date has not been determined yet. There are several options, but the decision will be made taking into account all factors. The goal is to form a coalition of states that will join our initiative and help Ukraine maintain the highest level of political discourse on the consequences of the occupation of Crimea,” the diplomat said.

Another important tool for protecting the rights of Ukrainian citizens in the occupied territories was the renewed Platform for International Action for the Protection and Release of Ukrainian Political Prisoners, which operates under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

“First of all, we are talking about promoting the international advocacy of Ukrainian citizens who are illegally detained in the occupied Crimea or on the territory of the Russian Federation,” Emine Dzhaparova added.

After gaining control of the Peninsula, Russia began to create conditions for the destruction of the Crimean Tatar identity and culture and the expulsion of the Crimean Tatars from the Crimea. Today, Crimean Tatars are victims of a systemic persecution policy by Russia: enforced disappearances, fabricated lawsuits, mass searches, arrests, and detentions.

“The Russian occupiers are promoting several narratives in the minds of the international community: firstly, that the Mejlis is an extremist organisation; secondly, that Mejlis leaders are extremists and terrorists; thirdly, Russia does not seem to seek to persecute all Crimean Tatars, but only those who threaten its national security,” said Refat Chubarov, Chairman of the Crimean Tatar People’s Mejlis.

In his turn, lawyer Nikolai Polozov added that the initiated criminal cases have no legal grounds and are completely fabricated. “Due to the political component, criminal proceedings are conducted with significant violations, in particular, the right to defence, completely distorting the legal field,” he emphasised.

Mustafa Dzhemile, the Leader of the Crimean Tatar people,, announced his intention to prove the absurdity of the Russian side’s accusations in the European Court of Human Rights.

Natalia Tolub

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