Since 2014, about 30,000 Crimean Tatars have been forced to flee the Russian-occupied peninsula, in part due to intolerable living conditions and persecution, said the head of prosecutor's office of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol Igor Ponochovnyi.
In May 2022, the prosecutor's office, together with NGOs, sent the 12th package of evidence that Russia had committed crimes against humanity on the territory of the occupied peninsula to the Office of the Prosecutor at the International Criminal Court.
In a recent report, the prosecutor's office provided evidence of the systematic persecution of Crimean Tatars on political, ethnic and religious grounds on the peninsula throughout the occupation.
According to the prosecutor's office, during the occupation of the Crimea:
- 22 activists were abducted or missing;
- at least 18 Crimean Tatars were tortured;
- more than 200 people are persecuted for political reasons;
- at least 136 people are being held as political prisoners;
- Crimean Tatars account for 75% of searches carried out by the occupiers in Crimea;
- almost 83% of all detainees are Crimean Tatars.
According to Ponochovnyi, by suppressing the rights of the indigenous people of Crimea, Russia crushes the resistance of Ukrainian citizens who disagree with the occupation and reminds disloyal groups of the population of the consequences of opposing Russia's occupation policy.
For example, at least 50 Crimean Tatar activists have received warnings from occupation police banning them from participating in events on the occasion of Crimean Tatar Flag Day, which is celebrated in Ukraine on June 26.
The occupiers issued similar "warnings" in previous years. Activists were warned that organizations deemed extremist in Russia could not take part in mass rallies. Such, for example, is the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatars.
"Since the beginning of the occupation of the peninsula, peaceful assemblies in the Crimea have been allowed only to citizens loyal to the aggressor state," said Ponochovnyi.