Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Sürgünlik - Recognition of Tatar Deportations

The Ukrainian Canadian Congress is calling on all Canadians to support Bill C-306 which is an act to establish a Crimean Tatar Deportation "Sürgünlik" Memorial Day in Canada. Below is the text of their press release which we received today on the matter. We urge our members to read the communique and familiarize themselves with this important issue.

UCC Supports Canadian Bill Establishing 
Crimean Tatar Deportation Memorial Day

Flag of the Crimean Tatar Nation
28 November 2016. OTTAWA. The Ukrainian Canadian Congress (UCC) fully supports Bill C-306, An Act to establish a Crimean Tatar Deportation ("Sürgünlik") Memorial Day and to recognize the mass deportation of the Crimean Tatars in 1944 as an act of genocide. Bill C-306 was introduced in the House of Commons by Kerry Diotte (MP-Edmonton Griesbach) on September 28.

The entire Crimean Tatar People, the indigenous people of Crimea, were exiled to the Soviet east in 1944 by the totalitarian regime of Joseph Stalin. Hundreds of thousands of men, women and children were forcibly and violently deported - almost half lost their lives during the first year of exile - for no crime other than their language, culture and traditions.

Ukrainian Canadian Congress Logo
The vast majority returned home from exile in the early 1990s, thanks largely to the welcoming policy of the government of independent Ukraine. It is for this reason that the Crimean Tatars and their political and civic institutions are fiercely loyal to Ukraine and today live in fear or have been again exiled under illegal Russian rule.

In November 2015, Ukraine's Parliament recognized this crime as an act of Genocide against the Crimean Tatar People and established May 18 as the Day of Remembrance of the Genocide of the Crimean Tatar People.   Bill C-306 honours the memory of the hundreds of thousands of victims of the forced deportation of the Crimean Tatar People, and underlines Canada's enduring commitment to human rights and fundamental freedoms.

"Today, the indigenous Crimean Tatars together with the Ukrainian people and other ethnic and religious minorities living in Crimea, face severe repression by their Russian occupiers," stated UCC National President Paul Grod.  "It is vital for all Members of Canada's Parliament to support this important legislation and to ensure that Canada continues to take concrete actions to oppose Russia's illegal occupation and annexation of Ukraine's Crimean peninsula."

For the full text of Bill C-306, please see here

Contact your local MP in support of Bill C-306
Please contact your local Member of Parliament and express your support for Bill C-306.To find the contacts for your Member of Parliament by Postal Code, please see here

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