Lift Travel Ban on Crimean Activist

Refat Chubarov 2014-05-18

Target: Natalia Poklonskaya, Prosecutor of Crimea

Goal: Revoke a travel ban that prevents a Crimean Tatar activist from entering his own country

Activist Refat Chubarov has been subjected to a five-year travel ban that prevents him from returning to his homeland. Human rights activists believe he is being targeted solely because of his work on behalf of the Tatar community in Crimea. Sign the petition and demand that the travel ban be lifted.

Tatars are an ethnic group that has been increasingly persecuted in Russia. Ever since the formerly Ukrainian territory of Crimea was annexed by Russia in March 2014, Tatars there have also been facing “harassment and intimidation,” reports Amnesty International.

Chubarov had traveled outside of Crimea to attend a meeting of Tatar community members. The meeting was held outside of Crimea due to the existing travel ban on Mustafa Dzhemiliev, another community leader targeted for his activism. When Chubarov tried to return to Crimea, he was stopped and issued a written warning for violating Russia’s laws on extremism, and ultimately denied access to his homeland.

Freedom of movement is a fundamental and internationally recognized human right under Article 12 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and Protocol Four of the European Convention of Human Rights. Sign the petition and demand that Russia honor its human rights obligations and revoke Chubarov’s travel ban.


Dear Prosecutor Poklonskaya,

Freedom of movement is a fundamental and internationally recognized human right. Refat Chubarov, however, has been barred from entering his homeland of Crimea due to his activism in the Tatar community. This is an unacceptable breach of his most basic human rights and I demand that his travel ban be lifted immediately.

Chubarov is not the only activist suffering as a result of anti-Tatar sentiment. Mustafa Dzhemiliev, another leader in the Tatar community, has also been prohibited from entering Crimea. In fact, the reason Chubarov left Crimea in the first place was to attend a meeting of Tatar community leaders. The meeting, which included Dzhemiliev, could not be held in Crimea due to Dzhemiliev’s travel ban. As a result, Chubarov’s ban seems both unfair and prearranged. Furthermore, the fact that the ban was issued solely as an accompaniment to a written warning seems extreme. If the punishment for a warning is such a huge violation of human rights, one can only imagine what the punishment would be for an actual criminal charge.

The travel bans on Chubarov and Dzhemiliev are unfounded and are prohibited by international human rights standards. I demand that these activists be treated with the respect to which they are entitled, and I urge you to ensure that all members of the Tatar community are respected by authorities in Crimea.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Mevo via Wikimedia Commons

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