International Committee for Crimea, Inc
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We are very grateful to His Excellency Olexander Motsyk, Ambassador of Ukraine in Washington, DC, for the following written statement, read at the Forum on Human Rights Violations in the Ukrainian Region of Crimea. Titled “The Struggle of the Crimean Tatars under Russian Occupation,” the Forum also featured screening of excerpts from “Son of Crimea.” The event, co-sponsored by the ICC, was held at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota in Minneapolis on 21April 2015. Ed.
Statement of Ambassador Olexander Motsyk
Dear Ladies and Gentlemen!
The Embassy of Ukraine highly appreciates the initiative to raise the awareness of occupied Crimea and Crimean Tatars’ issue. We are also grateful to everyone who attended today the screening of the “Son of Crimea” documentary and the discussion to follow. Your interest and support are most encouraging for us.
In less than one month, on May 18, we will commemorate the 71st anniversary of a great human tragedy and cynical crime – the violent deportation of Crimean Tatars from their native land by the Stalin’s regime. The decision was based on false allegations of state treason. After the Soviet Union collapsed, the historic justice was restored, and independent Ukraine invited the Crimean Tatar people to come back to their homes.
Since Crimea’s occupation by the Russian Federation in March 2014, the Crimean Tatars are again in struggle for their dignity and homeland. While Ukraine is fighting a hybrid war in its eastern regions, our citizens in Crimea are under the threat of hybrid deportation. The brutal aggressor disregards their civil rights, infringes their legitimate freedoms and impels them to leave the occupied territory.
Intimidations and prosecutions, searches and confiscations of property, tortures, kidnappings and murders are the horrible daily reality for the Crimean Tatars. Being afraid of their disloyalty, Russia treats them as a threat to the occupation’s main goal – sole military control over the northern Black Sea region. Vain attempts to substitute free Crimean Tatars’ media and legal authorities with Kremlin’s puppets are overshadowed by gross violations taking place in Crimea for over a year. Just as the USSR 71 years ago, the Kremlin seeks to justify its crimes against humanity by self-invented legal norms on combating so called “extremism.”
Considering the fact that Moscow is not only violating, but totally neglecting the universal legal norms and principles by so-called “recognition of Russian citizenship” of Ukrainian Crimea’s residents, ensuring their justified rights and freedoms is an unprecedentedly challenging task. Nevertheless, we will never compromise or tolerate it. The temporarily occupied Autonomous Republic of Crimea is the territory of Ukraine and we are not going to abandon our citizens there.
Ukraine has already filed three claims to the European Court of Human Rights against Russia, two of which are on Crimea and Crimean Tatars. Infringements in Crimea are in focus of permanent attention of all international bodies and forums, leading world powers and global non-governmental human rights organizations. Broad international sanctions were imposed against Russia for occupying Crimea and violating the international law. The signal is clear: Crimea is the territory of Ukraine, Russian armed forces are to leave the peninsular and every crime committed by the occupation power is to be thoroughly investigated.
Global solidarity is of vital importance for restoring Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity as well as ensuring rights and freedoms of the Crimean Tatars. We appreciate the steadfast active stance on the issue demonstrated by the US Administration, Congress and American people. We also expect the US and the international community to support groundbreaking reforms, which are currently implemented in Ukraine, because our economic progress is crucial for meeting the challenges of occupation. Our closely coordinated joint efforts will inevitably lead us to restoring justice and the rule of law for every resident of Ukrainian Crimea, including Crimea’s indigenous people – the Crimean Tatars.
Concluding my remarks, I wish every success to your Forum and thank you for your attention.
Posted: 20 May 2015