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Authorities Threaten to 'Liquidate' Crimean Tatar Council

Published: May 5, 2014 (Issue # 1808)



  • Crimea's prosecutor Natalya Poklonskaya has threatened to outlaw Crimean Tatars' main self-governing body.
    Photo: Ancrimeaua / Youtube

Crimea's prosecutor has threatened to outlaw Crimean Tatars' main self-governing body for "extremist" activities, reading out a warning to their leader in Russian despite his repeated appeals for a translation into the official language of their autonomy.

The Sunday admonition by prosecutor Natalya Poklonskaya to Mejlis leader Refat Chubarov was seen by some as an ominous sign for the Crimean Tatars, whose former head Mustafa Dzhemilev was banned from entering the Black Sea peninsula the previous day.

In a video posted on YouTube, prosecutor Natalya Poklonskaya described the massive rallies by Crimean Tatars against the ban on Dzhemilev's entry as "illegal" gatherings marked by "violence and threats of violence,"

"I am warning Refar Abdurakhmanovich Chubarov, the chairman of the Crimean Tatar Mejlis, about the unacceptability of carrying out extremist activities, I demand an immediate secession of extremist activity," Poklonskaya said.

Chubarov attempted to cut in: "I am having much trouble catching on the meaning," he said. "Please, in Crimean Tatar, in an official language, or at least in Ukrainian."

Poklonskaya plowed on, raising her voice to drown out the protests.

If the "violations noted above are not eliminated," the "Crimean Tatar Mejlis will be liquidated" and "its activity on the territory of the Russian Federation will be banned," she said.

"You have violated my rights," Chubarov said told Crimea's prosecutor by reading out her warning "not in my native language, not in the official language."

A reader on the Ekho Moskvy website said Sunday that the "repressions" constituted "nothing new" for Russia, but that repressing the "Crimean Tatars, who have already survived the horror of the purges, may backfire for the regime and it will."

Crimean Tatars, whose members were persecuted and exiled from their homeland under Soviet dictator Josef Stalin, have opposed Russia's annexation of Crimea, though Moscow has sought to appease any protests by promising to grant Crimean Tatars the same kind of self-governing and linguistic autonomy they enjoyed in Ukraine.

In a televised appearance last month, Putin said he had signed a decree to "rehabilitate" the Crimean Tatars and other ethnic minorities on the peninsula "all those who suffered during Stalin's repressions."

The decree, published on the Kremlin website, also said it aimed to "restore historical justice and remove the consequences of the illegal deportation" and to "foster the creation and development of national-cultural autonomies."





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Friday, Aug. 22


Get ready to pledge allegiance to the flag during National Flag Day, paying tribute to when, 23 years ago today, the iconic hammer-and-sickle was replaced with the tricolor that now flutters in the wind. Petersburgers will be treated to a free concert on Palace Square, a military parade and a culminating air show featuring Russias Russian Knights stunt pilots.



Saturday, Aug. 23


Uppsala Park plays host to Fairy Noon today, a performance of five separate fairy tales ranging from folk classics to more haunting selections. There will be three different renditions of the tales throughout the day and tickets start at 500 rubles ($13.80) for adults and 300 rubles ($8.30) for children.


Classic Finnish cartoon characters the Moomins expect to receive a warm welcome from Russian fans during todays Moomin Festival at the Pearl Plaza Shopping Center at 51 Petergofskoye Shosse. Become a kid again or introduce a new generation to the beloved creation of Finnish writer Tove Jansson.



Sunday, Aug. 24


The tortured genius of Dutch master Vincent van Gogh gets his day in the centers Konnushnaya Ploschad during Make Art Like Van Gogh, a daylong celebration of the artist that will allow amateur artists to try and replicate the work that made the famed painter world-renowned.


Experience a variety of dances highlighting the diversity of the world around as at the final day of the Ethno-Dance International Dance Festival that has been at the St. Petersburg Humanitarian University of Trade Unions this past week. Tonights performance will feature Egyptian dancers accompanied by local orchestras.



Monday, Aug. 25


Today kicks off the Elena Obraztsovoy International Competition for Young Vocalists in the large hall of the Shostakovich Philharmonic. Talented youngsters will showcase their range over the next six days before a winner is chosen on Aug. 30.



Tuesday, Aug. 26


Love movies but hate all those words? Then check out Rodina Cinema Centers Factor of Consensus film forum this evening. Silent movie classics from the beginning of the 20th century will be screened and accompanied by a pianist, who will provide the soundtrack for the ongoing action. The screenings begin at 7 p.m. Check Rodinas website for more details.



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