Press Releases


Commemoration of the Deportation of the Crimean Tatars in 1944 (May 18)

Germany is partly responsible for the fate of the Crimean Tatars today

Today, Thursday the 18th of May, Crimean Tatars all over the world are commemorating the deportation of their people by the Red Army in 1944. “Germany is partly responsible for the fate of the Crimean Tatars today,” stated Sarah Reinke, expert on Eastern Europe at the Society for Threatened Peoples (STP), on the sidelines of a human rights action in front of the Brandenburg Gate. “The German Federal Government did nothing to stop the wrongful annexation Crimea in 2014. It is inexcusable that there was no reaction to this crime committed by the Putin-regime – and this must also be understood as a step toward Russia’s current war against Ukraine. It is especially the Crimean Tatars who have been suffering from systematic persecution since then.”

On the topic of the genocide of 1944, Reinke added: “46 percent of those who were deported – mostly women, elderly people, and children – died during the deportation or during the next few years. The consequences of the genocide are still visible today. The Crimean Tatars are fighting for their language, their culture, and their freedom. It is especially bitter for the Crimean Tatars that Crimea was taken by Russia in 2014, after they had fought peacefully – and at great personal sacrifice – to be allowed to return from exile.” Today, there is reason to worry about the Crimean Tatars who were unlawfully detained. Before 2022, German politicians would still have had a chance to advocate for prisoners – but this was criminally neglected. “Now, this is not possible at all any more. Thus, the people feel at the mercy of the Russian terror regime, and there is an atmosphere of fear throughout Crimea,” Reinke reported.

“We are worried about the 23-year old student: She has been unlawfully detained by the Russian authorities for four weeks. She wanted to visit her father, who is suffering from cancer, and was arrested during her journey. Also, our thoughts are with the detained journalist Iryna Danylovych, who is not granted medical treatment although she is on hunger strike. Further, Amet Suleimanov, who is suffering from a heart condition, what was taken into custody from house arrest, and his medication was confiscated. Vilen Temerianov, Enver Krosh, Rinat Aliiev, and Edem Bekirov were relocated from Crimea to a Russian prison in Rostov. Khalil Mambetov, Ekrem Krosh, Refat Seidametov, and Osman Abdurazakov were forced to be examined in a Russian psychiatric hospital. Further, there were house searches at the homes of Fazyl Emiruseinov, the Crimean Tatar activists Edem Ismailov and Bari Bariev, as well as Abdureshyt Dzhepparov, who was arrested for 12 days after that. Sarah Reinke finished her speech at the Brandenburg Gates by stating: “We should remember their fates today – on the occasion of this Commemoration Day – and do everything in our power to ensure that they will be released from prison in Russia.” 

The vigil was carried out by an alliance of various initiatives and associations, and it was officially organized by the Berlin-based initiative Info-Point Krim.