Russia-backed authorities of the occupied Crimea could find Mejlis an extremist organization before May 5, said Head of the Qurultai of Crimean Tatars Zair Smedlyayev.
The politician said this in an interview with 112 Ukraine TV channel.
“They want to have a legal background to treat Mejlis as extremists, so that they could use this label while examining the February 26 case (the criminal case that Crimean “court” opened against previously detained Crimean Tatar activists). In that case, they will be able to use this label officially. I guess, they will try very hard to complete all necessary procedures by May 5”, Smedlyayev said.
He added that currently, no one goes for any demonstrations or public actions to support Mejlis. “Currently, it is dangerous, and we do not want to frame our compatriots, so we just don’t urge them to take it to the street. But, whatever kind of decision the court makes, I think Mejlis will keep on functioning – just in some other way”, said the Head of Qurultai of Crimean Tatars.
Earlier, the press service of the Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine reported that a criminal case on the ban of Mejlis by Prosecution of Crimea has been initiated. The Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine noted that the ban of Mejlis demonstrates violation of rights of Crimean Tatars people and all citizens, who oppose temporary occupation of the territory of Ukraine by the Russian Federation.
On April 18, Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation listed Mejlis of Crimean Tatars as extremist organization. On April 13, Prosecutor of Crimea Natalya Poklonskaya suspended Mejlis of Crimean Tatars.
The decision to suspend Mejlis will be in force until Supreme Court of Crimea rules on Poklonska’s appeal. Earlier, she demanded to recognize Mejlis an extremist organization. The lawsuit is currently at the stage of consideration.
Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people, in the periods between sessions of Qurultay, is the only executive organ of Crimean Tatars, elected by Qurultay among its delegates. Qurultay is the highest institute of state authority of the Crimean Tatar people, summoned amid turning points in their history.