Crimean Tatars: Mass Raids Conducted on Local Families
A member of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People, Eskender Barijey, has reported that there have been raids on Crimean Tatar families in the Dzhankojsky region of Crimea on Tuesday 2 February 2016. Searches have also been made between 28-29 January 2016 in the Leninsky district and on the premises of the Islamic Cultural Centre. This is further evidence of the repression of the Crimean Tatars since the illegal annexation of Russia, which has been continuously denied by Russian authorities.
Photo taken from Українська правда
"Mass searches are being conducted in Dzhankoy district. [Houses of the] Crimean Tatar families are being searched in the village of Medvedivka for more than one and a half hours. The details will be announced later," the coordinator of the Committee to protect the rights of the Crimean Tatar people Mejlis member Eskender Bariev said.
First Deputy Chairman of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People Nariman Dzhelalov has confirmed the information about mass searches in Dzhankoy district. According to him, the reasons for searches are unknown, and the information about the ongoing events is being clarified.
On January 29, there were searches in the houses of several families of the Crimean Tatars in Leninskiy district. There was no official information regarding the searches from the occupation "authorities" and local law enforcers.
On January 28, the searches took place at the premises of the Islamic Cultural Center in Simferopol, where the security forces "accidentally found" banned books. The press service of the Russian Prosecutor's Office of Crimea said that the searches had been carried out by police officers upon the tips of the visitors, including parishioners, about possible "destructive activities and dissemination of extremist materials" by this organization.
The Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People, as well as human rights organizations, have repeatedly stated that after the annexation of Crimea by Russia in 2014, the peninsula has suffered repression of the Crimean Tatars of Crimea; however Russian authorities have denied this.
The delegation of four from the Council of Europe, headed by the Swiss diplomat Ambassador Gerard Shtudmanom, arrived in the Crimea on 25 January 2016, following orders from the Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjorn Jagland to assess the human rights situation on the peninsula.
Following their visit to Crimea, European diplomats will make an independent report that will present their vision of the human rights situation on the penisula. The report will be presented to the Secretary General of the Council of Europe in late February and early March.