UN ruling might fuel Crimean Tatar persecution by Russia – Chairman of Mejlis Refat Chubarov
The Chairman of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People, Refat Chubarov, has expressed disappointment with the ruling of the International Court of Justice on Ukraine’s claims. He believes that Russia will now step up repression of Crimean Tatars in temporarily occupied Crimea to force the indigenous people out of the peninsula.
Chubarov expressed this assessment in the national joint 24/7 newscast.
The International Court of Justice announced a verdict in the first case of Ukraine against Russia concerning the violation of the Convention on the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination on January 31, 2024.
The Court recognized that Russia partially violated its obligations to combat the financing of terrorists in the eastern regions of Ukraine in 2014. At the same time, the Court rejected almost all of Ukraine’s claims against Russia regarding the oppression of Crimean Tatars and Ukrainians in occupied Crimea.
Chubarov called the Court’s ruling on Ukraine’s two claims under two international conventions disappointing.
“We have received no clear statement [identifying] Russia as responsible for the violations… The Court acknowledges all the evidence provided by the Ukrainian state regarding the violation of the rights of the Crimean Tatar people – including the ban on the activities of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people – and the violation of the rights of ethnic Ukrainians in Crimea, but it interprets these violations as being related to the political activities of the very same Crimean Tatars – but not caused by their ethnicity”, – Chubarov said.
He also pointed out that the Court noted that all the repression in Crimea of Crimean Tatars and ethnic Ukrainians was caused by political circumstances and recognised Russia as a violator of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination only with regard to its destruction of schools where the language is Ukrainian or Crimean Tatar. Indeed, there are none in Crimea.
What will this lead to? Russia will take this as an indulgence to intensify repression and persecution of Crimean Tatars and the entire Crimean Tatar people. They will push the indigenous people out of the peninsula even harder, Chubarov explained.
Furthermore, Chubarov pointed out that Russian diplomats have become more active as on February 1, 2024, Maria Zabolotskaya, Russia’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN, demanded an apology from Ukraine to the international community for “slandering” Russia.
The head of the Mejlis predicts that Russians will try to use the UN court’s ruling in other international venues. He believes that with this ruling, they will try to challenge previous resolutions of the UN General Assembly.
Chubarov believes that in the current circumstances, the best “trial” for the Russians is with the Ukrainian Armed Forces.