Human Rights Commissioner Kofler on the court ruling banning the Crimean Tatar representative body

Bärbel Kofler, Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid at the Federal Foreign Office, issued the following statement in Berlin on 28 April regarding the judgement of a Russian court banning the representative body of the Crimean Tatar minority:

I am very concerned by the decision taken by the so‑called “Supreme Court” in annexed Crimea to classify the Mejlis, the Crimean Tatar executive representative body, as “extremist” and to outlaw its activities. This decision constitutes a further curtailment of the rights of the Crimean Tatars on the peninsula following its annexation by Russia.

The rights of the Tatars in Crimea must be restored without delay and international human rights standards respected in full.

Background information:

Since the Russian annexation of Crimea, people who oppose the annexation have been subjected to systematic harassment. The Crimean Tatars have been prime targets. Persecution has focused above all on the Mejlis, the executive representative body of the Crimean Tatars. On 26 April 2016, in response to an application filed by the “Prosecutor-General of Crimea”, the “Supreme Court in Crimea” classified the Mejlis an extremist organisation and outlawed its activities.