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QHA Crimean News Agency

http://www.interfax.com.ua/eng/main/26977

05.12.2009

Ukrainian President Viktor Yuschenko has instructed the Prosecutor General’s Office and the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) to consider opening a criminal case into the forceful removal of the Crimean Tatars from their native land.

The head of state said this in a greeting word to the delegates of the 5th Kurultai (Council) of the Crimean Tartars, the second session of which opened on Saturday in Simferopol.

Yuschenko’s representative in Crimea Leonid Zhunko read the greeting.

The president said that Ukraine is currently settling all the issues concerning the return of the deported Tatars to their native land.

Yuschenko also said that the central and local authorities should be responsible for the full-fledged integration of the Tartars into the Ukrainian society.

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Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty

http://www.rferl.org/content/Crimean_Tatar_Leader_Backs_EU_NATO_Membership_For_Ukraine/1896014.html

06.12.2009

SIMFEROPOL, Ukraine — The outgoing leader of Crimea’s Tatars says that NATO membership for Ukraine is the safest way to avoid a repeat of the Russian-Georgian war of 2008, RFE/RL’s Ukrainian Service reports.

Mustafa Dzhemilev, the head of the Crimean Tatars’ Mejlis or parliament, spoke to RFE/RL on December 4 ahead of the Kurultai, or Crimean Tatar Assembly, to be held in Sevastopol on December 5-6.

Dzhemilev said he supports Ukraine’s moves to join the European Union and NATO. He added that although a referendum in Ukraine might show a lack of support for joining NATO, it is the duty of politicians to convince people to take “the right direction.”

Dzemilev said European integration will be useful for Crimean Tatars in terms of protecting human rights and gaining support for minority issues.

The agenda of the Kurultai will include discussion of the January presidential election in Ukraine and the election of a new head of Mejlis, replacing Dzhemilev.

He said his decision to leave the post is not supported by many members of the Crimean Tatar diaspora or the Kurultai.

Dzhemilev, who spent many years in the gulag as a Soviet dissident, has been the chairman of the Crimean Tatar Assembly since 1991.

He said incumbent Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko had unfortunately failed to keep his campaign promises.

Dzhemilev called for a tolerant election campaign to take place without insults and social polarization, and said many people still have to overcome “Soviet propaganda” and review their personal values.

Dzhemilev said that any discussion about Crimean Tatar separatism or annexation to Russia is baseless, but he said that one of the most important and worrying questions for Crimean Tatars is the preservation of their national identity.

He added that more efforts should be made in terms of security because of attempts made by Russian authorities to undermine Ukrainian and Crimean Tatar bodies.

Dzhemilev said he believes that Russia’s Federal Security Service is behind reported operations to assassinate him. He referred to the arrest on October 26 of two alleged members of an Islamist group, At-Takfir wal-Hidjra, who were reportedly planning to kill Dzhemilev.

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QHA Crimean News Agency

http://www.jamestown.org/single/?no_cache=1&tx_ttnews%5Btt_news%5D=35807&tx_ttnews%5BbackPid%5D=7&cHash=6e194dfc8d

04.12.2009

By: Taras Kuzio

The head of the Crimean Interior Ministry, Gennadiy Moskal, has drafted new legislation to ban extremist groups in Ukraine (Ukrayinska Pravda, October 27). Moskal is also a Kyiv parliamentary deputy from the Our Ukraine-Peoples Self Defense faction (NUNS) and a member of the Peoples Self Defense party in the NUNS bloc, which is headed by his close ally Interior Minister Yuriy Lutsenko. “The police are concerned at the situation arising from the penetration into the Crimea of Islamic sects, some of them banned in most Islamic states,” one report stated (UNIAN, September 11).

The draft legislation is a product of Moskal’s new Crimean position after the Interior Ministry (MVS) and Security Service (SBU) received intelligence about the growth of Islamic terrorist groups in the peninsula. “Unfortunately in Ukraine we are faced with the problem that neither Hizb-ut-Tahrir al Islami (Islamic Liberation Party), al-Takfir wa al-Hijrah (Excommunication and Exile) and other terrorist, fundamentalist and extremist groups are not banned,” Moskal said (Ukrayinska Pravda, October 27). Hizb-ut-Tahrir is banned in many countries.

In the Crimea there are upwards of 100 members of Islamic fundamentalist groups who have arrived as political refugees from countries where they are outlawed. The largest origin of such members is Uzbekistan where Islamic fundamentalists have faced strong levels of repression from the security forces after mounting an armed uprising in Andijan against the Uzbek government in May 2005. Moskal has requested the State Committee for Ethnic and Religious Affairs to strip the leader of al-Takfir, Khudar Raad Mukhamad Alzhi Bur, of his Ukrainian refugee status.

Moskal pointed to how blasé the authorities had been in registering the Vozrozhdeniye newspaper which propagates support for an Islamic Caliphate and the ideas of Islamic fundamentalists. The SBU has blocked two websites –www.vozrojdenie.crimea.ua and http://www.qirim-vilayeti.org– run by Hizb-ut-Tahrir.

On July 19, Hizb-ut-Tahrir and its NGO, the Crimean Muslim Community Davet, held the Fifth Islamic conference in Simferopol entitled “From capitalist oppression and injustice to the light of the caliphate” (www.maidanua.org, July 24). 800 people took part in the conference (www.poluostrov.net, July 24). Some Islamic fundamentalists have entered the Crimea disguised as returning Crimean Tatars, 95 percent of whom have emigrated from Uzbekistan. Islamic fundamentalists in the Crimea include Tatars frustrated with the non-violent, Soviet dissident approach of former political prisoners who lead the Crimean Tatar movement, such as Mustafa Dzhemilev.

Dzhemilev’s bodyguards are now permitted to carry weapons to protect him and other senior Crimean Tatar leaders in the unofficial Tatar parliament, the Medzhilis (Ukrayinska Pravda, October 27). The decision to permit bodyguards to carry weapons came belatedly and only after Moskal and the SBU received intelligence that Islamic fundamentalists had plans to assassinate the Medhilis leadership and install radicals in their place.

Islamic fundamentalist groups operating in the Crimea have declared that Dzhemilev is not a true believer and therefore a potential target. Dzhemilev accused Russian military intelligence (GRU) of being behind planned assassination attempts, part of a wider plan to promote instability in the Crimea. Moskal has publicly stated his disagreement that Russia is behind these Islamic fundamentalists. Moskal believes the funding for these militants in the Crimea comes from the Taliban via Uzbekistan.

Free Islamic, Crimean Tatar and Arabic language courses are increasing in popularity in the Crimea overseen by the Spiritual Directorate of Crimean Muslims (Yani Dunya, Qirim, September 5). The funding for them comes from Saudi Arabia and Turkey, where there are large numbers of Tatar emigrants.

In October the Crimean police, who only began to turn their attention to the Islamic fundamentalist threat after Moskal’s appointment, detained members of al-Takfir. Most were former members of Hizb-ut-Tahrir who had defected to the more radical al-Takfir, and had stopped attending official Mosques and proclaimed their unwillingness to recognize the legitimacy of the Ukrainian state. The police reported that al-Takfir, “has started to actively prepare for armed jihad. They have bought and made weapons, studied literature on the tactics of guerrilla and subversion war in the conditions of Crimean mountain woods. They built a hideaway near the Chystenke village in Simferopol Region and recruited people for conducting radical extremist activities.” The police report added: “Literature and CD’s popularizing Wahhabism, in particular, its extreme wings like Hizb-ut-Tahrir and al-Takfir, were found and confiscated during a search in the house of a group member in the Dubky village. Also, manuals on the technical characteristics of weapons and certain explosives were found” (Interfax-Ukraine, October 6).

Three Sevastopol residents were arrested in Balaklava after seeking to sell weapons to undercover policemen. A search of their homes led the police to find more arms, hand grenades, detonators, improvised explosives and narcotics, suggesting a possible second avenue as drug dealers for providing income to the arms traffickers. The SBU and the MVS arrested 5 religious extremists and during a search of their homes found Kalashnikov AK-47 automatic rifles, plastic explosives with electric detonators, 16mm-calibre sawn-off guns, and explosive devices. In addition, terrorist, guerrilla warfare and survivalist manuals on how to survive and engage in warfare in wooded mountains and population centers, maps, and plans of terrorist actions were found (Interfax-Ukraine, October 23). Further searches in undisclosed Crimean hills found two hidden caches with explosives, weapons, camouflage fatigues and stored foodstuffs.

The lack of attention paid to these Islamic militants until now is surprising. The SBU has been focused on separatists and Russian extremists in the Crimea and from Russia while military counter-intelligence, in cooperation with the SBU, has shadowed the Black Sea Fleet. All three areas are seen in Kyiv as the greatest potential threat to Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.

Islamic fundamentalists were not considered as a potential threat until this summer, because Ukraine is not seen as a potential target. This may be true after Ukraine withdrew its troops from Iraq in fall 2005. But, Ukraine has held joint exercises with NATO and the US for over 15 years in the Crimea, Odessa and Western Ukraine and American and NATO forces might become terrorist targets. Ukraine could also become a safe haven for Islamic terrorists seeking to enter the EU through Ukraine’s porous Western borders that are open to corruption from local officials, border troops and customs officers.

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AboutUA

http://www.aboutua.com/?p=1030

03.12.2009

Brussels shows interest in the only autonomous republic of Ukraine.

The European Union will present a pilot project on the support of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea. (ARC) at the 4 December EU-Ukraine Summit.

EU’s intent to work more intensely in the Crimea was informed by Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Kostiantyn Yeliseyev. He said the project to be presented by the EU would be focused on solving pressing issues of social-economic and humanitarian development of the region and would provide for actions in normalizing water supply, environment recovery, development of Sevastopol as a center of tourism, supporting the civil society, and meeting the demands of national minorities, in particular, the Crimean Tatars. The pilot project provides for funding not only from the EU as a whole, but from individual member states. We implement such projects with Great Britain, Portugal and Spain, Mr Yeliseyev said.

It is a reminder that a representative of the European Commission Gunnar Wiegand had formerly said that the EU was developing a plan “Joint Cooperation Initiative in Crimea” (JCIC) as part of the National Indicative Program of the European Neighborhood and Partnership Instrument for Ukraine 2011-2013. “Crimea is a distinctive region that has a high potential for all Europe. We expect the plan to be approved in spring 2010,” Mr Wiegand maintains. The project contemplates a regional strategy generation for the ARC development and establishment of the Regional Development Agency. Interested member states will be responsible for specific directions of the Crimean development, e.g. Great Britain will deal with economic development, Sweden – with environment protection, and the Netherlands – with establishing the civil society. The Initiative also involves Finland, Germany, Hungary, Poland and Lithuania. Estonia has announced its intent to join the Initiative as well. Funding will be carried out by the European Neighborhood and Partnership Instrument. It is planned to also invite investments from member states and international finance institutions. The ARC is projected to get €12M in 2010.

By Kseniya Lazorenko

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Lenta.ru

http://lenta.ru/news/2009/12/02/tatar/

Translate using “google translate”

02.12.2009

Speaker of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people (semi-legal ethnic parliament) Mustafa Dzhemilev said that his fellow-countrymen, are concerned about the results of the referendum held in Switzerland to ban construction of new minarets, said “New Region”.

According to him, the approval of the Swiss ban could become a “dangerous precedent” and spread to Ukraine.

In the example of intolerant Europeans Dzhemilev put the Crimean Khanate, where the “khans even financed the construction of Christian churches.”

“But now we see other spirits. In Holland, for example, right-wing forces, too, were inspired by and also want to hold a referendum. This, of course, a bad precedent. Ukraine rather tolerant country, although, of course, the level of democracy we have is much lower. Therefore, I such a threat not rule out “- shared his fears of the Speaker of the Majlis.

His words, he reinforced the fact that the Simferopol city council does not allocate land for the construction of the mosque. According Dzhemileva, this is because of the position of living near the city mayor who refuses to five times a day to hear the muezzin call to prayer.

As previously reported, last Sunday, most of the inhabitants of Switzerland were in favor of a ban on construction in the country of minarets banned. The authors argued that the idea of fellow citizens, that the minarets are not related to religion, as a symbol of political domination of Islam.

Opponents accused the initiators of the idea of prohibition in the intolerance of religious minorities.

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QHA Crimean News Agency

http://www.qha.com.ua/haber2.php?id=2540

04.12.2009

Leader of the Party of Regions of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovich would assume the issues of realization of rights of the Crimean Tatar people, if he will win in the presidential election. Particularly, presidential candidate Viktor Yanukovych promised to assume all issues on elaboration and realization of the legislation that provides the establishing of special governmental coordinating body in settling the problems of the formerly deported peoples. It is read on the official Internet website of the Party of Regions.

“At the present this issue is farmed out to the officials who do not bear any responsibility for the settling a lot of problems of those people who were deported in due time and returned to their Homeland” – Mr. Yanukovich said adding that at the present there is no system approach to the issues which relate to the land allocation to representatives of the formerly deported peoples.

“There are no even register, registration of land users and those who need it” – he noted.

That is why he will do everything necessary to establish the appropriate organ, in case of his presidency. However, first of all it will be necessary to identify the whole range of problems that have been stored for the last times and to identify the order of its settling.

“It is necessary to efficiently and specifically settle these problems and timely inform people in order to calm them down that they are not alone” – the leader of the Party of Regions concluded.

Yunus Seythalil – Nara Nariman

QHA

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QHA Crimean News Agency

http://www.qha.com.ua/haber2.php?id=2539

04.12.2009

The President of Yushchenko Victor Yushchenko promised to decorate the Chairman of the Majlis of Crimean Tatar people MP Mustafa Cemil with the “Hero of Ukraine” as early as 2004 but he did not keep his word. The Deputy Chairman of the Majlis of Crimean Tatar people, leader of the deputy group in the Verkhovna Rada of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea Mr. Remzi Ilyas disclosed this to QHA.

According to him, meeting with Mustafa Cemil the current Ukraine’s President promised repeatedly to devote much attention to solve the problems relate to resettlement of the Crimean Tatar people and restoration of it by political rights. In particular, Mr. R. Ilyas noted Victor Yushchenko voiced his promise to award the leader of the Crimean Tatar people with “Hero of Ukraine”,

“During meetings he always said: “Mustafa ağa, we shall do all, we shall do settle. I shall decorate you with “Hero of Ukraine”. However, with that, all things remain much as it was”, – stressed R. Ilyas.

Kim Nikolayev

QHA

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