Experts of the Association of the Reintegration of Crimea took an active part in the work of the OSCE Special Meeting on the Human Dimension “Media Freedom and Gender Equality”, which was held on March 8 and 9, 2021 online.

In his speech, Professor Borys Babin highlighted the situation of persecution by Russian “authorities” in Crimea of women from the political prisoners’ families, who have the courage to tell the truth to the world about the level of repressions against the Crimean Tatar People. In particular, attention was paid to the fate of the family of Ruslan and Elzara Suleymanovs, who were persecuted by the punishers for spreading truthful information. The expert pointed out that the real reasons for the tragic death of their three-year-old son Musa in July 2020 are still unclear.

Attention was also drawn to the brutal persecution by the Russian invaders of the Yalta blogger Ludwika Papadopoulou, who consistently covered the activities of the Crimean criminal structures, which today form a single whole with the Russian “authorities” on the peninsula. In particular, the expert noted that by applying the Russian criminal law on “slander” and “insult of public servants” against Crimean bloggers, Russian punishers commit an international crime. As such actions are not a crime at all in the Ukraine’s legislation, which is exactly necessary for application in the Crimea.

A number of other speakers also pointed to the persecution of journalists and bloggers in the occupied territories of Ukraine, including on the basis of gender. In their speeches, the experts once again recommended the OSCE to pay more attention to the oppression of freedom of speech in the Crimea and to focus the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine on strengthening monitoring the situation in the Crimea.

It is noteworthy that numerous Russian propagandists’ attempts, done on conference by such Russian-funded structures’ representatives as RIA “Novosti”, “Krym24”, “Krymskaya Gazeta” did not contain specific theses on the discussion issues, and were accompanied also by gross violations of the rules of order. They interrupted the third country delegations’ speeches and took word without the permission of the chairman. Some such “civil activists” with Russian special services’ shoulder straps were blocked for this by the conference moderator.

In their turn, diplomats representing the EU, Great Britain, Canada, the United States and other countries consistently condemned in their conference speeches the attempts of “public figures”, which actually work for Russian Government, to justify the occupation of Crimea, this time under the guise of “discussing the gender equality”.