|People's Deputy of Ukraine|
29 March 1998
November 13, 1943 |
Mustafa Dzhemilev or Mustafa Abdülcemil Qırımoğlu (Cemilev) (born November 13, 1943 in Ay-Serez, Crimea), is former Chairman of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People and a member of the Ukrainian Parliament since 1998. He is a recognized leader of the Crimean Tatar National Movement and a former Soviet dissident.
Cemilev was born in Ay-Serez, Crimea, then Russian SFSR, on November 13, 1943. He was only six months old when his family, with the rest of the Crimean Tatar population, was deported by Soviet authorities in May 1944. He grew up in exile, in Uzbekistan. At the age of 18, he and several of his activist friends established the Union of Young Crimean Tatars. He thus began the arduous and long struggle for the recognition of the rights of Crimean Tatars to return to their homeland. Between 1966 and 1986, Cemilev was arrested six times for anti-Soviet activities and served time in Soviet prisons and labor camps, or lived under surveillance. Cemilev is also remembered for going on the longest hunger strike in the history of human rights movements. The hunger strike lasted for 303 days, but he survived due to forced feeding.
In May 1989, he was elected to head the newly founded Crimean Tatar National Movement. The same year he returned to Crimea with his family, a move that would be followed by the eventual return of 250,000 Tatars to their homeland. In October 1998, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees awarded Cemilev the Nansen Medal for his outstanding efforts and "his commitment to the right of return of the Crimean Tatars." In an interview Cemilev gave shortly after receiving the Nansen Medal, he emphasized that "when violent means are used, innocent people die, and no just cause can justify the taking of innocent lives." The Crimean Tatar National Movement has been marked by persistent reliance on non-violence. During the Ukrainian parliamentary election, 1998 he was elected into the Ukrainian parliament on the Rukh list; in 2002, 2006 and 2007 he was re-elected as a member of Our Ukraine.
Interior Minister Yuriy Lutsenko stated in October 2009 that a grouping related to Taliban and Al-Qaeda called "At-Takfir val-Hijra" had been preparing an attempt on Cemilev's life; two members of the group were arrested.
Early November 2011 Cemilev announced his retirement from politics. But during the 2012 parliamentary elections he joined the All-Ukrainian Union "Fatherland" election list and was re-elected to parliament.
- Police opens case against criminal organization in Crimea, Kyiv Post (November 25, 2009)
- Regions and territories: Crimea, BBC News
- International Committee for Crimea - Surgun: Deportation of Crimean Tatars (18 May 1944)
- Ethnicity and Territory in the Former Soviet Union: Regions in Conflict (Cass Series in Regional & Federal Studies) by Dr James Hughes and Gwendolyn Sasse, Routledge, 2001, ISBN 978-0-7146-5226-9, page 98
- Explaining the Low Intensity of Ethnopolitical Conflict in Ukraine by Susan Stewart, Lit Verlag, 2005, ISBN 978-3-8258-8331-7, page 194
- Dual p, Kyiv Post (July 9, 2009)
- (Russian) Лидер крымских татар объявил об уходе из политики, Lenta.Ru (8 November 2011)
- Mustafa Dzhemiliov is number 12 on the list of the United Opposition “Fatherland”, Den (2 August 2012)
- Party of Regions gets 185 seats in Ukrainian parliament, Batkivschyna 101 - CEC, Interfax-Ukraine (12 November 2012)
For more information about Mustafa Cemilev and related links to his interviews and writings, see the Web site of the International Committee for Crimea.
- Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People
- Crimean Tatar National Movement
- International Committee for Crimea
- RFE/RL Interview with Mustafa Cemilev
- Cemiliev biography
|Chairman of Mejlis