On the government-controlled territory of Ukraine, the Crimean Tatars had the opportunity to exercise their rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly, in particular to hold events timed to the 73rd anniversary of deportation, which can not be said of those who live in the temporarily occupied Crimea, Chargé d'affaires of US in the OSCE Kate Burns stated.

“Russian security agencies tried to disrupt events timed to the 73rd anniversary of the Stalinist deportation of Crimean Tatars from their historical homeland. Russian services conducted detentions of Crimean Tatars to prevent them from joining the events dedicated to the deportation, in Russia-occupied Simferopol," Kate Burns said.

The US representative to the OSCE stated that serious violations of the rights of Crimean Tatars, ethnic Ukrainians and all whom Russia suspects of opposing the occupation are continuing.

“We call on Russia to end the repression and occupation of the Crimea. The United States supports the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally defined borders," she said.

May 18 this year in the occupied Crimea, local authorities obstructed the Crimean Tatars in the intention to honor the memory of those deceased during the deportation. In particular, in Bakhchysarai, a car with a St. George ribbon blocked the approach to the memorial plaque of the victims of the deportation of the Crimean Tatar people, and security forces stopped five cars passing with Crimean Tatar flags. In the central square of Simferopol, the officers of the occupation police detained the veterans of the national movement of the Crimean Tatars Server Karametov and Nariman Dzhemilev, as well as Server Izmailov. Attempts were also made for arrests in Feodosia and other cities of the occupied peninsula.

In the mainland Ukraine on May 18, mass events were held in memory of the victims of the Crimean Tatar genocide. President and PrimeMinister of Ukraine, as well as people's deputies, addressed with the words of support to the Crimean Tatars. Rallies as well as cultural and educational events took place in different cities, in which not only Crimean Tatars, but also Ukrainians and representatives of other peoples inhabiting Ukraine took part.

Reference. May 18, 1944 Crimean Tatars deportation began in the Crimea. Soviet power accused the whole nation of cooperation with Nazi Germany during World War II. Thousands of Crimean Tatars were taken to Central Asia. During the trip and the first year of exile more than 30,000 people died from hunger and disease. Crimean Tatars were allowed to return to their homeland in the Crimea only in 1989.

On November 12, 2015, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine adopted a resolution recognizing the deportation of the Crimean Tatars in 1944 as genocide of the Crimean Tatar people. In October 2016 Prosecutor's Office of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea initiated the investigation into the deportation of the Crimean Tatars.

PHOTO: Unian