Crimean Tatars vow to fight parliament ban in Europe

Head of Crimean Tatar Mejlis says community will take Russian prohibtion on parliament to European Court of Human Rights

Crimean Tatars vow to fight parliament ban in Europe

World Bulletin / News Desk

Head of the Crimean Tatar Parliament, Refat Chubarov, told a news conference on Friday the body would take a Russian ban on its activities to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).

Russia’s High Court on Thursday rejected Crimean Tatars' appeal against a legal ban on their parliament, also known as the Mejlis.

Chubarov said Crimean Tatars faced jail if they took part in the body representing their own will and added if anyone joined the Mejlis' activities, he or she could receive a prison sentence of between two to six years.

He stated that any person who attended the Mejlis directly could face imprisonment of between six to 10 years.

Chubarov said they had been expecting Thursday's approval of the Russian ban. "The next level is to apply to the European Court of Human Rights", he added.

"No one can stop Crimean Tatars' struggle for their own people. We will continue our struggle on a legal basis," Chubarov said.

In February this year, a prosecutor appointed by Russia to occupied Crimea, Natalya Poklonskaya, made an application to the Crimean High Court to close down the Crimean Tatar body.

In the petition, Poklonskaya demanded the Crimean Tatar parliament's activities be stopped, based on Russian laws against extremism. She also called for the parliament to be regarded as an extremist organization.

A review into the case was postponed four times.

In April the same prosecutor decided the Crimean Tatar parliament's activities be stopped until the court's decree.

Ukraine had previously recognized the Mejlis as a legal representative body of the Crimean Tatars. The territory of Crimea was annexed from Ukraine by Russia in 2014.

Thursday’s decision meant the ban on the Mejlis’ activities will continue.

Crimean Tatars demonstrated in the Ukrainian capital Kiev during the review of the appeal case in Moscow.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 30 Eylül 2016, 16:43