"The occupation of Crimea has become a tragedy for hundreds of thousands of people, including those who supported the invaders," Mustafa Dzhemilev said.
He stressed the fact that the occupation government persecutes those who dare speak up against the occupation.
The veteran Crimean Tatar leader emphasized that the tragedy lies precisely in the attitude of the Russian occupation authorities to Crimea's indigenous population, the Crimean Tatars, who "survived genocide and deportation in 1944, and are now going through pressure and repression even tougher than in the days of the Soviet regime”.
He added that "even today, at this moment, Crimean Tatars in Bakhchysarai are being searched". He emphasized that the occupational Russian regime brutally violates the Geneva Convention of 1949 "On the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War" by applying its legislation in the occupied territory, which is forbidden by this international document.
"I am deeply concerned and upset by the human rights situation in Crimea," President of the Congress Gudrun Mosler-Toernstroem said. She noted that the Congress has information on the oppression of Crimean Tatars and numerous human rights abuses in Crimea, and closely monitors the situation on the Crimean peninsula occupied by Russia.
In his turn, APU Head Ihor Rainin thanked the Congress "for a clear and decisive condemnation of the illegal annexation of Crimea". "We greatly respect the Congress's principled position regarding Crimea during the last session," Rainin said.