Special event “Cry of the Indigenous Crimean Tatars in the occupied Crimea”

Special event “Cry of the Indigenous Crimean Tatars in the occupied Crimea”

16th Session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues

Special event “Cry of the Indigenous Crimean Tatars in the occupied Crimea”

Date: April 25, 2017

Time: 1:15–2:45

Location: Conference Room 11, UN Headquarters, NY

Objective: Presentation for Missions to the UN as well as UN representatives, indigenous representatives, NGOs on the human rights situation in the temporarily occupied Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the City of Sevastopol (Ukraine). The impact of the occupation on indigenous Crimean Tatars seek recommendations on how to utilize its indigenous space in reclaiming Crimea.


· Welcoming Remarks — Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the United Nations H. E. Mr. Volodymyr Yelchenko

· Special Guest — Gayana Yuksel, Ph. D, Journalist with Crimean news agency Qirim Haber Ajansi (QHA) and Member of the Crimean Tatar Mejlis

· Panel Presentation:

Ø Member of the Crimean Tatar Mejlis, Eskender Bariiev

Ø Freedom House, Marc Behrendt, Director of Eurasia Programs

Ø Human Rights First, Melissa Hooper, Director of Human Rights and Civil Society

· Discussion - Moderator Ayla Bakkalli, Member of the Crimean Tatar Mejlis, Executive Member of the World Congress of Crimean Tatars, Adviser to the Permanent Mission of Ukraine to the United Nations.


Three years passed since the beginning of the occupation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the City of Sevastopol by the Russian Federation. Occupied Crimea, closed for any form of international control and monitoring, is now an area for systematic violations and abuses of human rights and fundamental freedoms, targeting, first of all, the Ukrainian activists and the indigenous people of Crimea — Crimean Tatars. The citizens of Ukraine are being groundlessly detained and imprisoned, activists are disappearing, their families and friends are facing intimidations. The Mejlis, a representative body of the Crimean Tatar people, was banned. Numerous human rights organizations, including the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine, noted that in the occupied Crimea the relentless pressure upon its indigenous people over time did not become weaker rather it has acquired a systematic nature. It is of critical importance to hear the voices of the Crimean Tatars, who suffer from continuous human rights violations and abuses by the occupying authorities, and this special event will provide such an opportunity.

By adopting the UN General Assembly Resolutions “Territorial integrity of Ukraine” and “Situation of human rights in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol (Ukraine)” the UN family has clearly said “no” to violation of territorial integrity and sovereignty of an independent state, condemned illegal actions of the occupying power and reconfirmed human rights commitments.