The Court Of Absurd: How Russia Banned The Mejlis
25 April, 2016

Russia has recognized the only representative body of Crimean Tatars as a fringe group. Hromadske visited Simferopol and spoke to Nariman Dzhelyalov, Deputy Chairman of the Mejlis and lawyer Dzhemil Temishev about the case just before the final verdict was issued.

On April 18th, The Ministry of Justice of Russia added the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatars to the list of public associations and religious organizations whose activities are suspended due to "the exercise of extremist activity."

The Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People is a representative body of the Crimean Tatars that was founded in 1991. The Mejlis is similar to the parliament. The main goals of the Mejlis are as follows: to eliminate the consequences of the genocide committed by the Soviet state against Crimean Tatars, to restore the national and political rights of the Crimean Tatar people, and to implement the right to free national self-determination in its national territory.

After June 26th 2014, the Mejlis was forbidden from holding public events by self-proclaimed authorities of Russian-annexed Crimea. However, local officials don’t question events held by the new Crimean Muftiyat, headed by Emiral Ablayev, as well as activities of few NGOs. The reason is that these organizations help create an illusion of prosperity in Crimea. But still, many issues that deal with land ownership and transition to the Russian legislation remain unsettled. For two years, the main goal of the new "government" was to politically repress minorities in Crimea. Searches and arrests became an ordinary thing here.