UWC calls for recognition of the Crimean Tatar genocide and de-occupation of Crimea
The Ukrainian World Congress (UWC) together with the multi-million strong Ukrainian diaspora joins Crimean Tatars around the world in commemorating the 75th anniversary of the deportation of the Crimean Tatar population from Crimea and remembering the many victims of this genocide committed by the Soviet Union.
On May 18-20 1944, by order of Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin, nearly two hundred thousand ethnic Crimean Tatars were brutally deported from their historic homeland to remote regions throughout the Soviet Union. Almost half of them perished as a result of the inhumane displacement and forced detainment at their new settlements. Moreover, the material and spiritual heritage of the Crimean Tatars in Crimea was destroyed, their assets confiscated, libraries, schools and mosques were closed, and thousands of cities of historic significance were renamed.
In March 2014, after the illegal occupation of Crimea by Russia, Crimean Tatars once again became the object of persecution, facing systematic gross violations of human, national and religious rights. Searches, terror, illegal detainments, court proceedings, murders and threats against Crimean Tatar activists and those, who promote their Ukrainian identity, have become regular practice. On the basis of fabricated accusations, the activities of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people were banned and centres of cultural and religious life, along with independent mass media, were closed.
Today, like in 1944, Moscow continues to grossly violate international rule of law and human rights for the sake of realizing its imperialist geo-political plans that pose a serious threat to peace and security throughout the entire world.
“The Ukrainian World Congress calls upon governments and international organizations to recognize the deportation of the Crimean Tatar people as genocide, similarly to the recognition by Ukraine in 2015 and, several days ago by Lithuania,” stated UWC President Paul Grod. “We also call upon the international community to intensify the pressure on Russia, including heightened sanctions, to accelerate the de-occupation of Crimea, and the release of Oleh Sentsov and all 70 Ukrainian political prisoners who opposed Russian aggression, particularly in Crimea, and the 24 imprisoned Ukrainian sailors.”