Persecution of Crimean Tatars needs sanctions response

This is a cross-post from Paul Canning

It is way past time for action by the West against the persecutors of the Crimean Tartar people. As human rights activist Halya Cornash puts it:

Two years after invading and annexing Ukrainian territory, Russia has effectively declared war against the Crimean Tatar people.  More words of concern, without real punitive sanctions, would be frighteningly inadequate.

Russia has demonstrated time and again that it does respond to strength, it ignores weakness, it will butt against the limits of any Western ‘tolerance’ of its actions.

Its latest action, in banning the Tatars’ Parliament, demonstrate just how outrageously they will behave.

The Executive Board of the World Congress of Crimean Tatars, in a recent declaration, called for:

1) That the European Union, the European Parliament and all national parliaments of the world respecting human rights, freedoms, peace and democracy recognize that the Crimean Tatars are the indigenous people of the Crimea and the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People is the self-governing body of the Crimean Tatar People, and develop cooperation mechanisms with the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People,

2) That, to convict the crimes committed against the Crimean Tatar People in the conscience of humanity and history, the big deportation of the Crimean Tatar People on 18 May 1944 be recognized as a genocide by the European Parliament, all national parliaments and institutions,

This is the least that must happen. What is most likely to make Russia think twice in its actions is targeted sanctions that make clear to Russia that they must stop the repression of Crimea’s indigenous people.

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