January 13, 2005

Parallel Report about the situation in Crimea

The Foundation for Research and Support of Indigenous Peoples of Crimea submitted already Parallel Report about the situation in Crimea (Ukraine) undertaken in accordance with the article 25th of the Framework Convention for the Protection of Nationa
Preliminary note
The Foundation for Research and Support of Indigenous Peoples of Crimea submitted already Parallel Report about the situation in Crimea (Ukraine) undertaken in accordance with the article 25th of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities of Council of Europe on April 5th 2000. Now Foundation for Research and Support of Indigenous Peoples of Crimea intends making an up-date to the most important and poignant points when the report of Ukraine is considered by the Parliament Assembly of Council of Europe. These issues are:
- Access to land
- Political representation
- Language usage
- Political repressions against Crimean Tatar protestors.

1. The emergence of this report and the usage of standards and procedures on National Minorities under the Framework Convention doesn't imply Crimean Tatar People agree with their identification as a National Minority.
2. Crimean Tatar People consequently regards itself as an Indigenous People of Crimea. The reason why this instrument contains the term “national minority” is predetermined with the terms and procedures accepted by the CoE for the consideration of the problems of the Human Rights in sphere of the national, ethnic and racial freedoms and equality.
3. The institution responsible for the facts and comments in this report is the Foundation for Research and Support of Indigenous Peoples of Crimea, which is the non-governmental and non-profitable local NGO of Crimea.

Article 15
The Parties shall create the conditions necessary for the effective participation of persons belonging to national minorities in cultural, social and economic life and in public affairs, in particular those affecting them.
Access to land

4. Due to the official data of Ukrainian archives Crimean Tatars before deportation have possessed 993.000 hectares of agricultural land.
5. In 1944 after Crimean Tatars were exiled all this land was withdrawn without any compensation. This fact is recognized as illegal one by now.
6. Nowadays due to Presidents Decree some Crimean Tatars are entitled to acquire less than 90.000 hectares of land that is 10 times less than it has belonged to them before deportation in 1944.
7. Under Crimean Tatars pressure and International Community opinion the Ukrainian government created the commission on reviewing the land restitution process since May 2000.
8. But ultimately Ministers didn't make any decision corresponding fair land restitution till now.
9. And as it is obvious now this commission was created with the view to prolonging time, to intensifying the process of legal distribution of dispute land among non-Crimean Tatar population.
10. Therefore it is apparent that the government policy concerning the land restitution is aimed to deprive Crimean Tatars of being entitled to land by applying the "committed acts" policy that is to say Ukrainian government intends to state that it is too late to change the law postponing the fair land restitution process in order to convert Crimean land into private property of non-Crimean Tatar population by September 2001 and make the fair restitution irreversible and insoluble.
11. Thus, the government by their policy not only deprives Crimean Tatars of substance means but also leads to the dangerous interethnic conflict and violence in Crimea in the future.
12. Under Mejlis of Crimean Tatar people initiative the process of allotment of household land plots was halted.

Political representation

13. Many economic, social, cultural and other problems have come up in the process of integration of Crimean Tatars into Ukrainian society. All this difficulties are partially connected with exclusion of Crimean Tatars from the decision-making process, lack of political representation in governmental bodies.
14. Due to the official data Crimean Tatars employed as the governmental officials in ministries, administrative bodies and governmental agencies constitute from 3,3% to 5,2% of all Crimean employed population.
15. But the true-to-life situation is rather different. The Crimean Tatars employed as the governmental officials in administrative bodies, governmental agencies (Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Internal Affairs, Ukrainian Security Service, Internal Revenue Office, customs, courts etc.) varies between 0 and 1.5% though the Crimean Tatars constitute 12% of all population of Autonomous Republic of Crimea.
16. It is evident that in conditions of such sincere segregation the relations between Crimean Tatars and representatives of the governmental agencies keep remaining tense and extremely poignant.
17. The Ukrainian State being a member state of the Council of Europe doesn't strive for implementation of the recommendations 1455 (2000) adopted by the Assembly of the Council of Europe on 5 April 2000 (13th Sitting) particularly the recommendation -viii- reading as follows "invite the Government of Ukraine and the regional authorities of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea to study the experience of other member states of the Council of Europe concerning the representation of minorities and indigenous peoples, with a view to securing the effective representation of the Crimean Tatars in national, Crimean and local public affairs; and for this purpose to take into account the Council of Europe's 1995 Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities, and the June 1999 Lund Recommendations on the Effective Participation of National Minorities in Public Life elaborated at the request of the OSCE's High Commissioner for National Minorities".


Language usage
18. Due to the Constitution of Crimean Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic of 1921, 1926, 1938 there were two languages proclaimed to be the State languages: Crimean Tatar and Russian.
19. The Ukrainian language was not mentioned in the Constitution of that time because Crimea wasn't under Ukrainian jurisdiction yet.
20. Therefore Crimean Tatars legally demanded the status of Crimean Tatar language to be restored as the part of the formerly deported people rehabilitation.
21. The Constitution of Crimean Autonomous Republic of 1992 proclaims three languages with the State status. They are Ukrainian, Crimean Tatar and Russian.
22. But the Crimean Constitution approved by the Parliament and the President of Ukraine in the end of 1998 promulgates only Ukrainian and Russian languages to be the Sate languages of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea as languages should be used in public life, administrative proceedings and official documentation.
23. The Ukrainian is determined as a State language, Russian is determined as a language acceptable for the majority of the population of Crimea. Thus the Crimean Tatar language is excluded from all domains of social, political, cultural life as a language acceptable for the minority.
24. The Ukrainian State being a member state of the Council of Europe doesn't intend committing provisions of Recommendation 1455 (2000), given by the Council of Europe on April 5th, 2000 (13th Sitting), particularly recommendation -ix- reading as "invite the Government of Ukraine and the regional authorities of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea to study the experience of other multi-ethnic states of the Council of Europe, with a view to restoring and securing the rights of the Crimean Tatars to education in the Crimean Tatar language, and the use of their language in all private and public affairs; and for this purpose to take into account the Council of Europe's 1992 European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages and its 1995 Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities, and the October 1996 Hague Recommendations regarding the Education Rights of National Minorities and the February 1998 Oslo Recommendations regarding the Linguistic Rights of National Minorities, elaborated at the request of the OSCE's High Commissioner for National Minorities".

Political repressions against Crimean Tatar protestors.

25. Political repressions against Crimean Tatars is one more proof of the constantly repeated acts of discrimination committed by the Crimean government officials against Crimean Tatars.
26. The chain of political trials took place in Crimea for the past year. One of the examples of such trial was Djankoy one. On June,12, 2000 Crimean Tatar protestors blocked the carriage ways in Djankoy railway station with the view to claiming the restoration of their political, social and cultural rights particularly the land rights and political representation as a part of annual protest marsh arranged to commemorate the victims of 1944 deportation. Local authorities were priory warned by the Crimean Tatar protestors but didn't turn any attention to it. After the blockage had been committed the participants were imprisoned but not as the political protestants struggling for their rights but as criminals.
27. The same events took place in some other regions of Crimea such as in Nizhnegorskiy: one political protestor claiming his land rights was brought to trial.
28. Alushta, Soviet region and Urozhaynoye village are the similar examples of political repressions against Crimean Tatar political protestors demanding restoration of their violated rights and to be included in decision-making process of the Ukrainian State equality with the rest of Crimean population.
29. In Razdolninskiy region the Regional Prosecutor stated that Mejlis of Crimean Tatar people is an illegal institution and called the leader of the reghional mejlis to pass official registration as only one of the local NGOs which is not in compliance with the representative and elective nature of the mejlises system of Crimean Tatars otherwise he endangered to the leader of regional community of Crimean Tatar Mr. Musa Bilalov he to be punished as a member of the illegal organization. This obviously carries the evident threat to the representative body of Crimean Tatars.
30. The Council of Representatives of Crimean Tatar people highly appreciates all efforts and useful part of the Ukrainian government in returning process of the formerly deported people and settlement of the Indigenous people of Crimea on their ancestral Motherland. The past decade convincingly displays that neither of government as within CIS as well the overseas states hasn't contributed so much attempts to the repatriation process of Crimean Tatars as it has done by Ukrainian State.
31. Along with this, from international law's point of view Ukrainian implication in this process has been complicated: it was Ukraine that ratified the majority of the International Conventions advocating human Rights including National Minorities and displaced persons.
32. Unfortunately the information about Crimean Tatar issue imparted by the governmental officials and Ukrainian missions controlling the observance of Human Rights doesn't correspond the real status quo in Ukraine.
33. Land restitution is the vivid example of it.
34. We assume that the Ukrainian state is concerned in its legal policy regarded Crimean Tatar's interests to be in compliance with international Human Rights obligations of Ukraine as the member-state of the UNO and Council of Europe. To avoid the violence it is indispensable to include Crimean Tatar representatives in decision-making process, stop political repressions against Crimean Tatar protestors, give the right for cultural development and revival and considering Crimean Tatar interests conduct the land restitution process fairly and on equal footing.

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