Mustafa Dzhemilev: Crimean Tatars ‘known for history of nonviolent resistance’


Russia’s federal security service, the FSB, this week claimed to have discovered and terminated the activity of a so-called ‘extremist group’, allegedly created by Crimean Tatar leaders Mustafa Dzhemilev (above) and Refat Chubarov, the Kyiv Post reports.

The Crimean Tatars are known for a history of nonviolent resistance, and Dzhemilev is a recipient of the UNHCR Nansen medal for his decades of peaceful struggle for the rights of the Crimean Tatars, Tufts University political scientist Oxana Shevel observed in the Washington Post.

When Dzhemilev was named Commissioner of the President of Ukraine for the Affairs of Crimean Tatars in 2014, he gained an official title for the work he relentlessly pursued since the darkest days of the Soviet Union.  Dzhemilev, a renowned human rights activist and Soviet dissident, campaigned for the right of return of the Crimean Tatars following their deportation under Stalin. As a result, he spent 15 years in prison camps in the USSR and undertook what remains the longest hunger strike on record – 300 days.

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