Mejlis: Deportation of Crimean Tatars Must be Recognized as Genocide
May 18 is declared 'The Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Genocide of Crimean Tatar People' in Ukraine
Photo from Ukrinform-UATV
“On the eve of the 75th anniversary of the deportation of Crimean Tatar people, we want to organize an open discussion in order to think about what needs to be done and to do this together — by politicians, public figures, lawyers and historians, so that the deportation of the Crimean Tatar people in 1944 would be recognized as a genocide, namely by judicial bodies,” Chairman of Board of the Crimean Tatar Resource Center, member of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people Eskender Bariev said at the round table meeting titled ‘The 75th anniversary of the deportation of Crimean Tatar people: Consequences and prospects for recognition as an act of genocide by judicial authorities of Ukraine,’ Ukrinform reported.
According to him, Latvia has already set a precedent by adopting a decision to recognize the deportation of the Crimean Tatars as genocide.
“The first foreign country, Latvia, has already recognized the deportation of the Crimean Tatar people as the genocide. On May 9, the Sejm of Latvia approved such a decision,” Bariev said.
According to him, human rights activists and civil society activists will continue to work in this direction with such countries as Lithuania, Estonia, Poland and Germany.
“These days, the leader of Crimean Tatar people is in Canada, and we hope that the deportation of Crimean Tatars will be recognized as genocide there as well,” Bariyev said.
At the same time, he believes that “the most important factor for deportation to be recognized as genocide throughout the world is the relevant decision of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.”
“This decision was made on November 12, 2015 […] Now our task is to implement this decision by judicial procedure,” Bariev said.
The Parliament of Canada scheduled a vote on a resolution recognizing the deportation of the Crimean Tatars as an act of genocide. If the resolution is adopted, May 18 will be proclaimed in Canada as ‘The Day of Commemoration of Crimean Tatar Deportation.’
On May 18, 1944, the forcible deportation of Crimean Tatars from Crimea to Central Asia began. In total, more than 180,000 people were deported, of which an estimated 50% died either on the journey or after arriving in unknown territory.
According to the resolution of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, May 18 is declared ‘The Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Genocide of Crimean Tatar People.’