News / Europe

Crimean Tatar Leader Expresses Concerns for Future

Crimean Tatars leader Mustafa Dzhemilev during an interview in Kyiv, March 15, 2014.
Crimean Tatars leader Mustafa Dzhemilev during an interview in Kyiv, March 15, 2014.
VOA News
The leader of the Crimean Tatars was in the United States this week to voice his concerns about what he sees as a problematic future for his people and for Crimea following Russia's annexation of the the Black Sea peninsula.

Mustafa Dzhemilev is a member of the Ukrainian parliament who formerly headed the Mejlis, the Crimean Tatars' legislative body. He told VOA's Ukrainian service in Washington Thursday that the main problem the Crimea Tatars face today is the presence of Russian troops in the peninsula and the threat they represent to the unity of Ukraine.

Earlier in the week, Dzhemilev, a veteran human rights campaigner who served six sentences in Soviet prison camps, spoke at an informal U.N. Security Council session in New York. He expressed fears the Tatars could be the targets of violence under Russian rule, and said he would like to see international peacekeepers deployed to Crimea.

The Lithuania delegation organized the informal Security Council session, which Russia boycotted, calling it "a biased propaganda show."

The Crimean Tatars were deported en masse in by Soviet dictator Josef Stalin in 1944 for alleged collaboration with Nazi Germany. They only began returning to their historical homeland on the peninsula in 1991. Today, they make up 12 percent of Crimea's nearly two million people.

According to Moscow, more than 96 percent of those who voted in the March 16 Russian-run referendum on Crimea's status voted in favor of its integration into Russia, and voter turnout was 83 percent. Dzhemilev insists the turnout was only 32 percent, and that the Crimean Tatars boycotted the vote en masse.

Dzhemilev said the Crimean Tatars will continue insist that they remain part of an autonomous territory within Ukraine.

"We declared this 23 years ago at the moment that Ukraine declared its independence. We see ourselves as a national territorial autonomy within the framework of the Ukrainian state."

Russia, however, is not offering that option. On April 18, all of Crimea's residents will automatically become Russian citizens unless they have already submitted an application stating that they want to retain Ukrainian citizenship.

You May Like

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

Ali Regained Title in Historic Fight 40 Years Ago

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid