Having banned the Mejlis, the occupation authorities dealt blow to Crimean Tatars. This decision is like a point which has divided public and political life in Crimea into "before" and "after".
The first Deputy Chairman of the Mejlis Nariman Dzhelalov explains that local authorities do not fully realize what the consequences of this ban are. In his view, the circumstances in which Crimean Tatars are now, can cause an opposite effect, when people will begin to resist the occupation regime little by little, but surely.
How has the situation been changed in Crimea for the last time, shortly before the ban of the Mejlis and immediately after the court’s decision?
For those who does not follow the news, it seems that the situation is changing. For people who are constantly in the process, everything is obvious and expected. In the beginning, the Crimean "authorities" were trying to integrate the Mejlis in near-state relations system in which the majority of public organizations are.
They failed this attempt. Most of the members of the Mejlis are fundamentally opposed any interference in its internal affairs.
What do you think about the court's decision to ban the Mejlis?
It is obvious that "the court" did not look into the matter. Faked arguments, that the prosecutor's office gave in favour of its administrative suit, are mostly repeated. However, our lawyer said that accusers removed argument, claiming that the Declaration on the national sovereignty propagandized some national exclusiveness.
As far as we know, the prosecutor's office and the court did not look into the matter and banned the Mejlis as NGO.
The decision of the court included a big piece of the presentation of the State Committee representative, where he said that, there were many other non-governmental organizations on a par with Mejlis, that represented the interests of the Crimean Tatars.
But the mission of NGO is to protect the interests of its members, who get together to realize their plans. Mejlis of Crimean Tatar people is not such type of organization. We have 33 people who gathered not to protect their interests. We underwent double legitimation: to the National Kurultai Congress and then to the Mejlis.
Although the "court" asserts that we have all the signs of NGO, but it is absolutely not true. They did not want to listen to us. They decided to explain everything in their own way. None of our arguments did not work.
From the point of view of the "authorities", is ban of the Mejlis a "long game" or a decision "here and now"?
I would not generalize "authorities" as such. Special people are doing that, who don’t let themselves be noticed. I think, different versions are worked out there, how it was in spring of 2014. Then we knew about such a scenario, where the blood must be shed.
There had been intentions already to declare the Crimean Tatars as the enemies, to create some Slavic-Crimean Tatar conflict to justify their further actions.
I do not rule out, that these special people are watching the situation and are working on several variants of its development. On the other hand, analysts do not need to invent anything abstruse, because special services act much more clumsy and easier, than we think.
And nevertheless, the "authorities" suppose that the ban of the Mejlis can lead to social upheaval in Crimean Tatar society? Or do they reckon upon only that?
I do not believe in any supernatural plans, everything is much more banal. They go through the swamp and trying to find solid ground in shattered situation in Russia. Case of the Mejlis has shown it.
Is this some kind of implementation of the plan?
Yes, it is the implementation of the plan for some people.
Since the 26th of June, 2014, Mejlis failed to hold public events. In some places, it is more successful, somewhere officials are more or less adequate. And sometimes it is like in Krasnoperekopsk last year: in the rally, which was allowed, three participants got a fine.
But as I have repeatedly said, we do not care about these prohibitions.
Our strategy was to come into power, we actively worked with it, and in this respect everything moved to Ukraine now. Here we are engaged in enlightenment: the question of language and education, cultural work, and, the main, informational human rights activity is very important for us.
The court’s decision came into effect. Everybody is concerned about the main question: what comes next?
The Mejlis will continue its work in Crimea in any case. Another thing if can to continue our work as members of the Mejlis. Personally, I believe that every member of the Mejlis will decide how to behave.
Some people believe, that it is necessary to express its position openly. But we all studied physics: if you are beaten with a sledgehammer, it is better not to be a crystal, but to turn into rubber. We are fully implementing this strategy now. In the present circumstances we can not force abybody. Everybody, who considers it necessary, will take the socio-political responsibility to do something.