Speaking at UN World Conference on Indigenous Peoples in New York, Sept 22, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin paid attention to violation of rights of Crimean Tatars in Crimea.

“Unfortunately, a period when indigenous peoples were defenseless in their rights is not a thing of the past. The annexation turned the sunny and hospitable peninsula into a herd of tension, aggression and intolerance”- Klimkin said.

“Many groups who just yesterday were a part of Crimea’s multicultural and friendly face – became the unwanted minorities, Crimean Tatars being one of them- Klimkin noted. Today, Crimean Tatars, ethnical Ukrainians and other minorities on the Peninsula are objects of an open, unabashed discrimination”- he stressed.

“People get punished for speaking different, looking different and thinking different”- Klimkin added.

Foreign Minister also reminded the audience of Crimean Tatar deportation of 1944, and said he was proud that Crimean Tatar representatives were present at the event.

“I am proud to announce that these two leaders of Crimean Tatars (with amazing personal history of fighting dictatorships) are participating in this Conference. Please, listen to their voice – as it is a voice of moral authority and personal courage against all historic odds”- Klimkin stated.

Crimean Tatar leader Mustafa Jemilev and head of Mejlis of Crimean Tatar people Refat Chubarov are also attending the conference in New York.

As we earlier reported, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia had appealed to UN to ban Jemilev and Chubarov from attending the event. The appeal, however, was rejected.