KYIV (QHA) -

The leader of the Crimean Tatar people Mustafa Dzhemilev celebrates his 75th anniversary today, November 13.

Mustafa Dzhemilev was born on November 13, 1943 in the village of Bozkoy in the steppe Crimea, where his parents were evicted from the village of Ay Serez (now Mizhrichia) in the Sudak region of the Crimean SSR.
On May 18, 1944, the family of Dzhemilev was deported to the Uzbek SSR.

In 1962, Mustafa Dzhemilev entered the Tashkent Institute, from which he was expelled because of the discovered manuscript "A brief historical sketch of Turkic culture in the Crimea of the XIII-XVIII centuries."

In 1966, Dzhemilev was convicted because of his refusal to serve in the Soviet Army and was sentenced to one and a half years’ imprisonment.

Dzhemilev together with well-known Soviet dissidents Heinrich Altunian, Alexander Lavut, Leonid Plush became the co-founder of the first independent civil society in the USSR, which openly conducted its activities.

In 1969, Mustafa Dzhemilev was arrested for the second time. He was accused of distributing documents that allegedly defamed the Soviet system, and was sentenced to three years in prison.

In June 1974, Dzhemilev was arrested for the third time. He was sentenced to a year in prison in strict camps because of active participation in the national movement of the Crimean Tatar people. Three days before the end of his term, another case was brought against him for allegedly conducting “anti-state propaganda” among the prisoners.

In protest, Mustafa Dzhemilev went on a hunger strike, which lasted 10 months.

Only in 1989, Dzhemilev was able to return to Bakhchysarai with his family. Before that, he was elected in absentia as Chairman of the Central Council of the Organization of the Crimean Tatar National Movement.

In 1991, for the first time in a long time, the Qurultay of the Crimean Tatar people convened, where the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people was elected. Mustafa Dzhemilev was elected Chairman of the Mejlis, he held this position until 2013.

On August 20, 2014, President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko, by his decree, appointed Mustafa Dzhemilev Commissioner of the President of Ukraine for the Affairs of the Crimean Tatar People.

Mustafa Dzhemilev became an honorary doctor of law at the Seljuk University (Turkey), winner of the P. Orlik International Prize “For the Democratization of Ukrainian Society”, was awarded the Nansen Medal (UN), the Order of Prince Yaroslav the Wise, V and IV degrees.

On May 24, 2018 in Washington (USA), Mustafa Dzhemilev was awarded the medal "For Serving Democracy" by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), founded by the US Congress.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko congratulated Mustafa Dzhemilev on his 75th birthday.

“His fortitude and character of steel were not broken during the years of persecution, pressure and imprisonments for "spreading anti-Soviet views." And now Mustafa does not abandon the struggle for the return of the Crimea, for the release of all the hostages of the Kremlin until they return home to the Ukrainian Crimea. Most sincere wishes for good health, inspiration and longevity. Congratulations on the anniversary, Mustafa-aga!” Says the message on the Ukrainian President's Facebook page.
 
Mustafa Dzhemilev asked not to give him gifts for his birthday, but to transfer money to the account of the charitable organization "Crimea Foundation" to help the children of the Crimean political prisoners.

Dzhemilev recalled that 113 young children are being raised in families without their fathers, who were illegally deprived of freedom by the Russian occupation regime.

QHA