The Persecution of the Crimean Tatars (27.4)

<<No 27 : 15 October 1972>>

Documents concerning the movement of the Crimean Tatars to return to their homeland and their persecution [see note 1] by the authorities:

1. An appeal to the Presidium of the USSR Supreme Soviet, the USSR Council of Ministers and the Politburo of the Central Committee of the CPSU (copy to “the Public”). The authors adduce extensive material relating to the persecution of the Crimean Tatar people by the authorities, and demand: their organized return to their native land (“our people already have some experience of unorganized return”) and the restoration of the Crimean Autonomous Republic; the complete rehabilitation and restoration of the rights of all activists in the movement to return to the Crimea; cessation of the slanderous campaign against the Crimean Tatars; and the institution of criminal proceedings and the punishment of all those guilty of persecution, repression and slander. The appeal starts with the text of the [1921] Resolution on the Creation of the Crimean ASSR signed by M. Kalinin, V. Lenin and A. Enukidze.

2. An appeal by Crimean Tatar youth (with 33 signatures) addressed to the government, Party and public of the USSR (copy to the editors of Komsomolskaya Pravda), in which hopes for the satisfaction of the same demands (which both the 50th anniversary of the Soviet regime and then the centenary of the birth of Lenin had not been satisfied) are linked with the [then] forthcoming 50th anniversary of the USSR.

3. A document entitled Chronicle [and dated July 1972] which cites a great many instances of discrimination and repression with regard to Crimean Tatars. Some of the facts are confirmed by documents.


On 12 October 1972 Reshat Dzhemilev was arrested.

R. Dzhemilev [note 3] was born on 12 October 1931 in the village of Uluz-Uzen in the Alushta district of the Crimean ASSR. He is a construction engineer.

Every year since 1965 the Crimean Tatars had been sending him to Moscow as a representative of his people. He was one of the twenty Crimean Tatars who on 21 July 1965 [mis-typing for 1967] were received by KGB Chairman Andropov, Secretary of the USSR Supreme Soviet Georgadze, USSR Procurator-General Rudenko, and the Minister of Public Order [MVD], Shchelokov. On 2 September 1967 he was arrested as being an organizer of mass demonstrations and rallies in Tashkent, on that day and on 27 August. On 13 December of the same year the Tashkent City Court sentenced him to one year of corrective labour.



[1] A notable recent move by the authorities to intimidate the Tatars was the holding of a short trial of four of them before a military tribunal in Simferopol. For crimes allegedly committed in 1942-1944 in service of the Germans death sentences were imposed. See Pravda, and a New York Times dispatch, both dated 12 July 1972.

[2] “The first and third of these have reached the west but not as yet been published. See also a UPI dispatch dated August 16 from Moscow, which summarizes what may be the same documents, signed by 20,000 and 18,000 people and dispatched fn mid-June to the authorities.” In May 1974, these and other documents were included in CCE 31, which was wholly devoted to the plight of the Crimean Tatars.

[3] Reshat Dzhemilev was “a signatory of many Tatar appeals”. See CCE 8.5 for the 1969 Moscow demonstration. A recent protest letter of his, about a search of his flat on 12 July 1972, “has reached the West but not yet been published”. He was again put on trial in 1973 (CCE 31.2).

Dzhemilev shared a surname with the younger Mustafa Dzhemilev (b. 1944) but was not a close relation.