What You Need To Know:
✓ According to reports, Russia has stepped up its repression of Crimean Tatars;
✓ Occupying authorities have conducted coordinated searches and arrests of Crimean Tatar activists;
✓ The Crimean Tatar community is trying to stand against Islamic extremism, Dzheppar says;
✓ “It’s really very dangerous to be active and openly saying and voicing and vocalizing everything that’s happening.”
Russian authorities, in concert with local self-declared law-enforcement authorities , conducted raids across the occupied peninsula, searching and arresting local human rights activists who had spread information about repression of Crimean Tatars, a local Muslim minority.
“They use any chance to burst and rummage one’s house and to involve the Crimean Tatar people in this total atmosphere of fear,” said Crimean Tatar activist and Advisor to the Minister of Communications Emine Dzheppar.
“There are so many forms of [our] resistance,” Dzheppar said. “There was public resistance in the first days of the annexation when Crimean Tatars vocalized their position openly and publicly saying no to the Russian Federation.
But Dzheppar emphasized that violent radicalization poses no threat of appearing the Crimean Tatar community.
“I really need to stress it that we never had a case of any terrorist attack in Crimea, and what they’re trying to do is to convince the world that Crimean Tatars were peaceful, but that today they’re ready to radicalize,” Dzheppar said. “And this is not true.”
The Kyiv Post and Hromadske International’s Josh Kovensky spoke to Crimean Tatar activist and Advisor to the Minister of Communications Emine Dzheppar on Feb. 21, 2016 in Kyiv.