Crimea is a black hole for human rights: enforced disappearances of Crimean Tatars

Image result for crimea tatar

adapted from Foreign Policy in Focus, http://fpif.org/crimeas-tatars-persecuted-stalin-putin-now/

Human Rights Watch condemns Russia calling Crimea a black hole for human rights. In early 2014 Crimea became the focus of the worst East-West crisis since the Cold War, after Ukraine’s pro-Moscow president Viktor Yanukovych was driven from power by violent protests in Kiev. Kremlin-backed forces seized control of the Crimean peninsula, and the territory, which has a Russian-speaking majority, voted to join Russia in a referendum that Ukraine and the West consider illegal.

During the Second World War, Soviet authorities accused the entire Crimean Tatar population of collaborating with the Nazis, and as collective punishment, deported all Crimean Tatars, estimated to have been 240,000 people, to distant regions of the Soviet Union. More than half reportedly died in the following months from starvation and disease. They were allowed to return to Crimea in the mid-1980s, and have been openly opposing the Russian occupation there.

Since 2014, many Tatars in Crimea have been kidnapped, murdered, and arbitrarily arrested for trumped-up offenses. A researcher at Human Rights Watch Yulia Gorubnova says 100 Crimean Tatar children have lost their fathers.  According to Amnesty International, a crackdown on Crimean Tatars last year trialled more than 70 Tatars simultaneously.

In most cases, arrested Crimean Tatars are charged for participating in or organizing terrorist groups with no clear evidence just because they practice Islam.

As Universal Declaration of Human Rights says in its article 9 “No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile”, Russia must stop the human rights violations in Crimea.

References

Gorbunova Yulia, “100 Crimean Tatar kids who lost their fathers”, oDR, November 28, 2017, https://www.opendemocracy.net/od-russia/yulia-gorbunova/crimean-tatar-kids-who-lost-their-fathers#https://www.hrw.org/news/2014/10/07/crimea-enforced-disappearances, accessed on January 27, 2018

Crimea: More than 70 Crimean Tatar activists put on trial simultaneously in brazen crackdown, Amnesty International, December 18, 2017, https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2017/12/crimea-more-than-70-crimean-tatar-activists-put-on-trial-simultaneously-in-brazen-crackdown/,  accessed on January 27, 2018

Universal Declaration of Human Rights, http://www.ohchr.org/EN/UDHR/Documents/UDHR_Translations/eng.pdf, accessed on january 27, 2018

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