ICC
International Committee for Crimea, Inc.
ICC. P.O. Box 15078, Washington, DC 20003

Of Interest

Crimean Tatar TV Forced to Close

The only Crimean Tatar television station ATR went off the air right after midnight on April 1, 2015. Its anticipated shut down was discussed widely in the Western media, and European Union and US State Department issued statements opposing the move. Russian officials rejected ATR's application for a new licence for four times, saying that the document contained procedural errors. Amnesty International called the official decision to close ATR "blatant attack on freedom of expression, dressed-up as an administrative procedure." Along with the ATR, children's TV Lale and radio station Maydan also had to stop operations. ATR General Director Lilya Budzhurova was adamant: "Those who decided to close TV ATR probably decided not just to hit out at a television channel, but at the entire people [Crimean Tatars]....Their attempt can hardly succeed; we have been through worse than this."
See: "Crimean Tatar TV silenced, searches and arrests continue" by Halya Coynash and Mubeyyin Altan's Appeal "Don't Let Them Kill ATR," sent to Crimean Tatar diaspora. (Photo credit: Cengiz Soysal)

Nowruz celebration in DC
Demonstration in front of Russian Consulate in New York

"Who Talks about the Crimean Tatars Nowadays?"

In his remarks delivered at the film screening of "Son of Crimea" at George Mason University on 28 March 2015, Paul Goble compared Petro Grigorenko (1907-1987) and Mustafa Jemilev (1943- ), both former Soviet dissidents and staunch defenders of Crimean Tatars. Grigorenko was stripped of his rank as a General in the Soviet Army and later his Soviet citizenship because of his unyielding stand on Crimean Tatars. The General insisted that terrible crimes had been committed against the Tatar population, who must be allowed to return to their homeland Crimea and have their own republic. Like Grigorenko and Jemilev, Goble argued, we must continue to speak about the Crimean Tatars whose human rights are being grossly violated under the oppressive rule of pro-Russian government of occupied Crimea. "Given the legacy of General Grigorenko, the efforts of Mustafa Jemilev, and the nature of the situation now," Goble concluded, "we cannot do any less." His remarks, "Who Talks about the Crimean Tatars Nowadays?" can be accessed here at this site.

Screening of "Son of Crimea"

A Screening of the documentary "Son of Crimea: Struggle of A People" is scheduled for 28 March 2015 at the George Mason University, Arlington, VA. Parts 4 and 5 of the documentary that relate to Soviet human rights activist Petro Grigorenko will be shown along with another documentary in the making. Titled "Maidan, Petro Grigorenko and Crimean Tatar Dissidents," the program is organized by the Arlington Sister City Association, in cooperation with the International Committee for Crimea, Inc. and the Embassy of Ukraine. For more information, see the Flyer.

Nowruz Celebration in Washingon, DC

International Committee for Crimea, Inc. was invited to the Nowruz Commission's Gala by the Embassy of Ukraine. We helped the Embassy staff organize a cultural exhibit of Crimean Tatar arts and crafts. Ukrainian Embassy participates in Nowruz Commission's events because of Crimean Tatars, the largest minority group in Ukraine who observe Nowruz. The festive event was held on 14 March 2015 in the Andrew Mellon Auditorium, Washington, DC. For related photos, see ICC's Picasa Web Album "Nowruz Commission's Gala."

Nowruz celebration in DC
Nowruz Celebration in DC

A Timeline of Human Rights Abuses in Crimea

It has been a year since Russian forces seized control of government facilities in Crimea and quickly moved to organize a questionable referendum that resulted in Russia's annexation of the peninsula in March 2014. On the first anniversary of the occupation of Crimea by Russian forces, we offer a brief timeline, "Crimean Tatars under Russian Occupation and the Western Response." The list chronicles human rights violations, including harassment and deportation of activists, exiling of Crimean Tatar leaders, intimidating members of the media, and illegal searches and confiscation of property. Such abuses did not go unnoticed, and various governmental bodies and human rights organizations in the West responded by issuing statements and reports, documenting undue pressures exerted on the Crimean Tatar population. See: "Crimean Tatars under Russian Occupation and the Western Response: A Timeline."

Crimean News Agency Denied License

The only independent news agency of Crimean Tatars in Crimea is targeted by the occupying Russian forces. Authorities have refused to renew the license of the Agency, also known as Qırım Haber Ajansı or QHA. See: Paul Goble's Russian Occupation Authorities Move to Close Crimean News Agency, Window on Eurasia, 15 February 2015.

QHA logo
QHA Logo

Religious Freedom in Crimea

"Status of Religious Freedom in Crimea Today" by Catherine Cosman is an excellent summary of developments since the Russian occupation of the peninsula in March 2014. The article details how the Russian law on extremism is affecting the Muslim population, namely Crimean Tatars, who have been subjected to numerous searches and confiscation of property. Ms. Cosman is a Senior Policy Analyst at the US Commission on International Religious Freedom, Washington, DC.

Greta Uehling on Crimean Tatars

Greta Uehling's new publication, "Crimean Tatars as Victims of Communism," traces the history of the various forms of repression under Soviet regime, famines, collectivization, elimination of intellectuals, mass deportation and "Detatarization of Crimea. The article helps us focus on the sufferings of Crimean Tatars prior to their return to the Autonomous Republic of Crimea in Ukraine and their efforts to reestablish their lives in their homeland before the Russian occupation of the peninsula in February 2014.

Stairs made grave markers
Stairs made of grave markers

Dr. Uehling teaches at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and is the author of a major work on Crimean Tatars, Beyond Memory (2004). She is on the ICC Board of Members.

Ukrainian Embassy expresses solidarity

We greatly appreciate the support of the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington DC. On 23 September 2014, Ukrainian Embassy staff held the Crimean Tatar flag, expressing their solidarity with Crimean Tatars fighting for freedom. They tweeted "I am Crimean Tatar" and "Crimea is Ukraine," inspired by Ukrainian President Victor Poroshenko's speech at the U.S. Congress, when he said "I am Crimean Tatar."

Ukrainian Embassy staff
Ukrainian Staff, holding Crimean Tatar flag

Victims of Communism Memorial Anniversary

Once again, Crimean Tatars were represented at the wreath-laying ceremony at the Victims of Communism Memorial, Washington, DC, on June 11, 2014. The occasion marked the 7th anniversary of the unveiling of the Monument in 2007 and the 20th anniversary of the establishment of Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation.

Flowers in memory of Crimean Tatar victims
Flowers presented in memory of Crimean Tatars

During the ceremony, Myroslav Marynovych, a Ukrainian human rights advocate, received the Truman-Reagan Medal of Freedom. The other receipient, Mustafa Jemilev was unable to attend the ceremony. Ms. Lilia Muslimova, long-time secretary of the Crimean Tatar Mejlis, delivered Mr. Jemilev's message. Diplomats from foreign embassies, Members of United States Congress, representatives from nonprofit organizations and ethnic groups attended the event. Over forty wreaths, bouquets and floral arrangements adorned the Memorial at the end of the 2-hour ceremony. The ICC presented a basket of flowers in memory of Crimean Tatars, victimized by the Soviet authorities.

Photographs relating to Crimean Tatars and Related Activities

Photographs relating to Crimean Tatars and related activities are now available at the FLICKR or PICASA Web sites:

Last Update: 4 April 2015

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Petro Grigorenko
Petro Grigorenko (1907-87)

Mustafa Jemilev
Mustafa Jemilev, 2011
Nobel Peace Prize Nominee

Women's Journal Nenkecan
Women's journal NenkeCan

Wreath-laying ceremony in Washington, DC
Wreath-laying Ceremony,
Washington, DC

Dance of Arzy Kiz
Ethnic Dance,"Arzy Kiz"