Jan 21, 2011

Crimean Tatars: Leader Warns Of Possible Violence Over Land Issues

The head of the Crimean Tatars Assembly warns of evictions and violent attacks against Tatars in Crimea over land squatting.


Below is an article published by ZIK:


Crimean Tatars are forced to become squatters by the refusal of local authorities to give them land sites. At present, the authorities are speaking about 49,000 sites allotted to Tatars, but 46,000 of them had been forcefully taken up by the Tatars and later legalized, says Mustafa Jemilev, head of the Crimean Tatars Assembly. “If Tatars had gone by the law, they would have never got any land,” he continues.


The regime opened scores of criminal probes into the allegedly illegal seizures of land by Tatars. Soon, the Tatar leader goes on, the regime will start to recapture the land amounting to 1,300 hectares, merely the size of a state farm.


Meanwhile, highly placed officials have grabbed hundreds of times more land, he notes.


Asked about the likely pogroms and evictions, Jemilev said this: “I don’t know when they will start the pogroms. There can even be bloodshed, especially where Tatars had built their homes, with families investing all they had in construction. Their homes will be pulled over together with their residents. Naturally, I cannot even foresee what the reaction will be,” Jemilev adds.


“There is no law involved. All we can see is undisguised repression against the Crimean Tatars. They definitely want to intimidate us,” he stressed.


Recall that Jan. 18, Crimean Premier Vasyl Dzharty called on the Tatars to give up the land they squatted.