The following letter was sent to the Council of Europe early in April to protest the invitation of Leonid Hrutch to the discussion of Lord Ponsonby's Report at the Parliamentary Assembly, scheduled for April 5, 2000. The problem was resolved, however, with the last-minute invitation of Mustafa Jemilev as the representative of Crimean Tatars to the crucial April 5 meeting of the Parliamentary Assembly.
and Committee on Migration, Refugees and Demography
International Committee for Crimea is deeply disappointed to learn that there will be no Crimean Tatar representative participating in the crucial discussion of Lord Ponsonby's report on "Repatriation and Integration of Crimean Tatars" scheduled for April 5, 2000 in Strasbourg. International Committee for Crimea finds it ironic that Leonid Hrutch, chairman of the Crimean Parliament, a man well known for his anti-Crimean Tatar stand in the Crimea, is invited to the aforementioned discussion to discuss the future of the Crimean Tatar people.
Despite their shortcomings, Lord Ponsonby's fact finding mission to Crimea and his final report were considered by International Committee for Crimea as steps in the right direction in resolving Crimean Tatars' problems. Never in our wildest imaginations we thought that the Parliamentary Assembly of Council of Europe which considers "human rights and the rights of minorities" as one of its cornerstones, would totally disregard the rights of the long suffering Crimean Tatar people. By not inviting any representative of the Crimean Tatars, the Parliamentary Assembly of Council of Europe is treating Crimean Tatars as non-people, the same way the former Soviet Union had treated them. There is no other way for Crimean Tatars to interpret the invitation of Leonid Hrutch, a man who did everything in his power to prevent the "Repatriation and Integration" of the Crimean Tatars, as the sole representative from Crimea.
International Committee for Crimea strongly protests the current action of the Parliamentary Assembly of Council of Europe's Committee on Migration, Refugees and Demography! The International Committee for Crimea also strongly urges the Committee on Migration, Refugees and Demography to postpone the aforementioned discussion until a Crimean Tatar representative is invited and offered an equal opportunity to participate in the discussion of Lord Ponsonby's report on "Repatriation and Integration of Crimean Tatars."
Mubeyyin Batu Altan
ICC, P.O.Box 15078, Washington, DC 20003