Ayla Bakkalli within her capacity as the Representative of the Crimean Tatar Mejlis in the United States made a statement at the Seventh Session of the United Nations General Assembly at an informal meeting on the implementation of UN Resolution entitled, “Rights of Indigenous Peoples” on Monday, March 7, 2016 in the UN Trusteeship Council.

Among other topics of discussion one was the participation of indigenous people to participate as indigenous self governing entities at United Nations bodies attend meetings that effect indigenous peoples. It was in essence access to UN bodies and the participation of indigenous peoples within the United Nations process. It is at this point which I made by statement noting that the indigenous Crimean Tatars of Crimea, Ukraine are extremely concerned on their fate given Russia’s invasion of Crimea turning the peninsula into a territory of fear.

Persecution on political and ethnic grounds continue with impunity together with intimidation, abduction, deprived of national and cultural needs including the right to freedom of speech, denial of property, right to education and freedom of assembly.

I further noted that the main victims of repression are the indigenous people of the peninsula, the Crimean Tatars as well as pro-Ukrainian activists and citizens who support the territorial integrity of Ukraine. I noted to the body that a lawsuit is seeking to ban the Crimean Tatar Mejlis which was filed by the Crimean Persecutor Office and we wish to notify that the continual existence and participation of indigenous Crimean Tatar Mejlis at all UN bodies is crucial and further notification to the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues will be made at its upcoming annual meeting in May of this year.

Ayla Bakkalli attended as the Representative of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People.