Feb 14, 2011

UNPO Presidency United Behind Jemilev Nomination

Meeting after the 20th Anniversary of the founding of the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization on 11 February 2011, the UNPO Presidency moved unanimously to back the nomination of Mustafa Jemilev, leader of the Crimean Tatars to the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize.

The public declaration follows international support for the nomination and a campaign led by UNPO that grew from a meeting of UNPO Presidency in Simferopol, Crimea in 2009.  The Crimean Tatars are one of the founding members of the UNPO and for two decades have been instrumental in supporting the campaigns of other UNPO members.



UNPO Presidency Declaration in

Support of the Nomination of Mustafa Jemilev

to the Nobel Peace Prize 2011


The Hague, 13 February 2011


The Presidency of the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO), further to the “Resolution for the Consideration of Mr. Mustafa Dzhemilev [sic] as Nobel Peace Prize nominee,” adopted during its 7th Session on 15 October 2009 in Simferopol, Crimea:

- reiterates its public and unqualified support for the nomination of Mustafa Jemilev to the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of his untiring and steadfast nonviolent struggle for the rights of the Crimean Tatar peoples, and in particular their right to return to their homeland after Joseph Stalin’s forced deportation of the Crimean Tatar people in 1944;

- recognise, with great appreciation, the initiative taken by László Tőkés MEP and Leonidas Donskis MEP, and supported by UNPO, in establishing a Support Committee for the Nomination of Mustafa Jemilev to the Nobel Peace Prize 2011;

- believes the award of the Nobel Peace Prize to Mustafa Jemilev will raise awareness to the crimes of the Soviet Union and authoritarianism at a time when the generations that suffered from its policies are becoming distant;

- considers it crucial that visibility be given to the courage Mustafa Jemilev has shown during a career in which he spent fifteen years in Soviet prisons and work camps and 303 days on hunger strike in a protest against the repressive policies of the government;

- believes that whereas dissidents that supported Mustafa Jemilev such as Andrei Sakharov have received recognition of their role in the struggle to bring freedom and democracy to the former Soviet Union, Mustafa Jemilev remains largely overlooked;

- notes the positive and pivotal role played by Mustafa Jemilev in the transition to democracy of Ukraine which has laid the foundations of an inclusive and diverse society which, for its heterogeneity, is richer to the benefit of all its citizens;

- regard the failure to adequately recognise Mustafa Jemilev as compromising the importance of nonviolent activism as a means to peaceful conflict mediation and resolution in Crimea and around the world, where Mustafa Jemilev is an inspiration;

- believes that in a time of global economic crisis, when rights to freedom of religious, cultural, and political expression are being subverted to other, potentially exclusive, priorities, it is imperative that the work of human rights defenders be recognised;

Therefore call upon UNPO Members to support the nomination of Mustafa Jemilev to the Nobel Peace Prize 2011, and draw Members’ attention to the founding role of the Crimean Tatar people in the UNPO and the continued and unstinting support to the organisation they have shown over two decades.

Moreover, the UNPO Presidency urge elected deputies, academics, and eminent persons to publicly declare their support for the nomination.