Leader of Crimean Tatars Labeled 'Extremist,' Banned From Home
The leader of Crimea's Tatar community was banned from returning home for a period of five years by the peninsula's prosecutor on Saturday due to "signs of extremism" allegedly present in a speech he gave a day earlier.
Prosecutor Natalia Poklonskaya confirmed the news on Twitter on Sunday, saying simply "[Refat] Chubarov has been banned from entering the Russian Federation for five years."
Chubarov, the current leader of the Crimean Tatar Mejlis, was informed of the ban upon attempting to return home from a business trip to the Kherson region of Ukraine, where the ethnic group's council held a meeting on Saturday with Mustafa Dzhemilev, the former head of the group.
A statement issued by the Ukraine Foreign Ministry said the "absurd" decision to bar Chubarov from his homeland was a result of "the chauvinistic policies that Russia has been implementing against the Crimean Tatars, continuing the tradition of Stalin, from the beginning of the armed occupation of the peninsula to the annexation of Crimea."
President Vladimir Putin issued a decree to rehabilitate the ethnic group in April. At that time, Putin spoke out in favor of doing everything possible to avoid any discrimination against the Tatars.