Jun 02, 2015

Crimean Tatars: Russia Seeks Extradition of Refat Chubarov Ahead of the World Congress of Crimean Tatars

In an effort to destabilize the Platform of Crimean Tatar Organizations at the World Congress of Crimean Tatars in Turkey later this summer [2015], Russian Federal Security Service has submitted an appeal to Interpol calling for the extradition of Crimean Tatar Mejlis Chairman, Mr Rafat Chubarov to Russia. Under Article 280.1 of the Russian Criminal Code, Russia has initiated criminal proceedings against Mr Chubarov, finding him in violation of the territorial integrity of the Russian Federation. The call for Chubarov’s extradition is a clear example of Russia’s nihilistic and inconsistent actions as the Federation has failed to pursue the extradition of other State leaders who had condemned the annexation of Crimea and still view the peninsula as sovereign Ukrainian territory.

Below is an article published by Interfax-Ukraine:

Crimean Tatar Mejlis Chairman, MP of the Petro Poroshenko Bloc Refat Chubarov, said that he hadn't been officially notified on opening of a criminal case against him by Russian law enforcement agencies and about putting him on the wanted list.

"No, I received no formal notice. I knew that 40 minutes ago from journalists when I was in Istanbul," Chubarov said in an interview with Interfax-Ukraine on Friday.

He noted that "the way they [Russian police] notified me about opening the criminal case against me and putting me on the most wanted list through mass media shows that things go very bad for occupants both in Crimea and in Moscow."

While commenting information on opening the criminal case against him by the investigative unit of the Russian FSB (Federal Security Service), the MP underlined that he had never called for actions meant to undermine the territorial integrity of the Russian Federation. "I always said I'll do everything, we will together do everything to make Russia, as the country-invader, as the thief country, to bring back Crimea to Ukraine, and we will make Russian occupants leave the Crimean lands."

"If they opened the criminal case against me for such my behavior, it put me in a very dignified campaign along with the leaders of more than 100 states, which condemned the annexation of the Crimea," he said.

"They must then announce opening a criminal case against Merkel [German Chancellor Angela Merkel], who told Putin [Russian President Vladimir Putin] in to his face that Russia occupied the Crimea. They must open a criminal case against U.S. President Barack Obama, Turkish President Recep Erdogan, who also consider Russia as an invader of the Crimean lands," Chubarov added.

Photo Credit: Interfax-Ukraine