Ukrainian Paliament discussed situation of native peoples of Russia

A round table, dedicated to violation of rights of native peoples in Russian Federation, was held at Committee on the Foreign Affairs of Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine (Ukrainian parliament) on December 7, 2018. The event gathered members of Ukrainian parliament, diplomats, scientists, human rights advocates and political emigrants from Russia. Activists of Free Idel-Ural civic movement presented special lectures about political situation in republics of Idel-Ural (rus. Povolzhye). 

Round table participants noted systematic violations of civic, national, religious and political rights of representatives of native peoples in Russia, pursuit and intimidation of civic activists for not being loyal enough to authorities. 

“In 2017, on initiative of president Putin, a scale campaign was organized in order to squeeze national languages out of the system of school education. State Duma (parliament) of Russian Federation made amendments in federal law “On education”, and nowadays study of official languages in national republics became optional. Under the guise of educational reform we have reduction of teachers, able to teach mother tongues of native poeoples. Conditions for artificial depreciation of status of official languages are being created in national republics”, – comments Syres’ Boliayen’, co-founder of Free Idel-Ural movement.

Names of national movements activists, pursued in Russia for their political beliefs, sounded during the discussion. Free Idel-Ural activists paid special attention to the case of Tatar activist Danis Safarghali, acknowledged by human rights organizations as a political prisoner. Facts of obstruction of activity of such organizations as “Bötentatar ictimaği Üzäge”, “Azatlıq” and “Başqort”, were also reported to the audience.

Rafis Kashapov, political refugee from Tatarstan, who served three years in Russian prison for condemnation of Crimea annexation, addressed to round table participants via internet from London, where he received political asylum from British government. Kashapov thanked Ukrainian politicians and scientists for their attention to problems of native peoples in Russia and wished earliest liberation of Ukrainian military seaman in Russian captivity.

Some 60 persons participated in the event, Ukrainian MPs Refat Chubarov, Borys Tarasiuk, Ihor Lutsenko and Serhij Vysotskyi among them. 

Hanna Hopko, chairperson of Parliamentary Committee in Foreign Affairs, reported that on the nearest sessions of international organizations Ukrainian delegates will raise the question of oppression of rights of native peoples in Russia. Refat Chubarov appealed to his colleagues with initiative to form an interfractional group in Ukrainian parliament, which will engage in defence of rights for the native peoples in Russian Federation.

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