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Statement of the MFA on the 76th anniversary of the forceful deportation of Crimean Tatars


Today we commemorate 76th anniversary of the forceful deportation of Crimean Tatars who were taken away from the Crimean peninsula to Central Asia on 18 May 1944. Nearly half of these approximately 200 thousand people, mostly women, children and elderly, died from starvation and diseases. The persecution temporarily ended in 1989 but returned to Crimea in last couple of years.

Since 2014 when Russian Federation annexed Crimea a new wave of politically motivated persecution of Crimean Tatars started. The activity of Mejlis, parliament of Crimean Tatar people, was forbidden; opponents of Russian aggression were arrested or subjected to violent repressions from police and military forces. Thousands of Crimean Tatars were forced to abandon their homes again and move to different parts of Ukraine or abroad. Dozens of Crimean Tatar political prisoners remain imprisoned in Russia and in Crimea.

The situation in Crimea keeps worsening. Resolutions and recommendations from the Council of Europe, UN and other international organisations were heard by neither Russian Federation nor de facto authorities in the peninsula. Rights of Crimean Tatars and other citizens continue to be oppressed, freedom of expression remain to be massively curtailed, local citizens are in breach of international law forced into the military service by the occupying power.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic hereby honours the memory of the victims of the forceful deportation of 1944 and expresses its support to the Crimean Tatar people in its struggle for its human rights. The MFA also condemns the current aggressive policy of the Russian Federation towards Ukraine and politically motivated persecution of Crimean Tatars.

The Czech Republic continuously supports the sovereignty and the territorial integrity of Ukraine. It does not and will not recognize the annexation of Crimea. We call on the Russian Federation to uphold its international commitments, to respect the rights of local citizens, to free dozens of political prisoners and to end its illegitimate rule over Crimea.