18th session of Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues is taking place in New York UN headquarters (April 22th – May 3rd, 2019).
Selection system for participants of the event is designed so that all delegates are approved by governments of states, which they represent on Forum. Delegates from Russian Federation are “proper activists”, carefully selected in Kremlin to praise Russian authorities at UN international event.
It does not mean, however, that native peoples and national republics in Russia do not have problems; there are many issues to talk about. While delegates from Russian Federation praise Russian authorities, local civic activists are being arrested in Ingushetia for their active opposition to redrawing borders of the republic by Russian federals. Chechen refugees ask for asylum in Turkey and EU states. Tatars in Kazan are forbidden to organize mass public events in honour of Gabdullah Tukai, and well-known Bashkir activist Airat Dilmukhametov is waiting for a new court session behind bars.
Native peoples of Russian Federation have so many of problems and challenges, artificially created by Moscow, that far more than a single forum would be enough just to express them loud and clear to world’s public. Realizing this, Free Idel-Ural tried to draw attention of international community to state of affairs of native peoples in Russia, breaking Moscow-driven silence about their human rights.
On April 28, 2019 Kamil Sukaev, representative of Free Idel-Ural in USA, picketed UN headquarters with a banner texted as “Kremlin kills native nations!”. He assures that on the Forum, among others, there are Russian delegates, sent by Moscow. They intensively translate Russian propaganda, whitewash the existing regime and on behalf of all peoples of Russian Federation declare about absence of political repressions or any other pressure against national activists, as well as about usefulness of Russification policy.
“The only delegation which refutes all this Russian lie is Crimean Tatar delegation. These are people which were forced to escape from Crimean peninsula after occupation of their motherland by Russian Federation. They talk about issues, which Russian delegates are forbidden to discuss: about murders, kidnappings and repressions in occupied Crimea. However situation with human rights remains critical not only in Crimea but also in Tatarstan, which I present, and also in Bashkortostan, Chuvashia, Mari El, Udmurtia, Mordovia and other national republics. In 1990th, when USSR was collapsing, national republics, particularly Tatarstan, had a chance to exit from Russian Federation. But then we believed Kremlin and did not take advantage of this chance; instead we signed Agreement about delineation of powers between Moscow and Tatarstan. Years have passed and it turned out that Moscow deceived us Tatars. The agreement was simply not prolonged. Our republic is being assimilated in Russian Federation, our language is thrown out from education system, and money are taken away into federal budget. Former budget donor, Tatarstan now transforms into a grant subject. Part of our money is plundered in Moscow, other part goes to finance military campaigns in Ukraine and Syria. So our money are spent on anything but development of Tatarstan”, – tells Kamil Sukaev, with a flag of Tatarstan on his shoulders.
Free Idel-Ural civic movement expresses hope that participants of the Forum will be brave enough to speak openly about elimination of native peoples by Moscow, about policy of violent Russification, about violation of basic human rights in Russian Federation, but not to discuss just national suits and traditional fishery.