Watch A Recording of the event here.
About the event
When Mustafa Dzhemilev was named Commissioner of the President of Ukraine for the Affairs of Crimean Tatars in 2014, he gained an official title for the work he relentlessly pursued since the darkest days of the Soviet Union. Dzhemilev, a renowned human rights activist and Soviet dissident, campaigned for the right of return of the Crimean Tatars following their deportation under Stalin. As a result, he spent 15 years in prison camps in the USSR and undertook what remains the longest hunger strike on record – 300 days.
Today, following the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the annexation of Crimea, Dzhemilev and the Crimean Tatars face renewed persecution. The Russian annexation has been accompanied by numerous human rights violations, including beatings and kidnappings of civic activists. Crimean Tatar activists such as Dzhemilev have been singled out for persecution. As historical leader of the Crimean Tatar National Movement, his new struggle can serve to draw attention to the poor human rights situation in Crimea.
NED welcomed Jorgan Andrews, Director for Eastern European Affairs at the U.S. State Department to make remarks about the current challenges in Ukraine and Crimea. NED also welcomed Ms. Tamila Tasheva from CrimeaSOS, a grantee that received NED support for the production of the documentary film, Mustafa. Ms. Tasheva introduced the film and set the stage for an important and memorable conversation between Mustafa Dzhemilev and Paula Dobriansky. NED President Carl Gershman presented Mr. Dzhemilev the Democracy Service Medal to recognize his significant contributions to the progress of democracy around the world.
featuring a conversation with
- Mustafa Dzhemilev, Commissioner for the Affairs of Crimean Tartars, Office of the President of Ukraine
- Paula Dobriansky, Senior Fellow at the Future of Diplomacy Project, Kennedy School, Harvard University
with remarks by
- Jorgan Andrews, Director for Eastern European Affairs, U.S. Department of State
- Tamila Tasheva, Co-founder and Chairwoman, CrimeaSOS
and presentation of the Democracy Service Medal to
- Mustafa Dzhemilev
About the Speakers
Mustafa Dzhemilev has served as Commissioner of the President of Ukraine for the Affairs of Crimean Tatars since August 20, 2014. Mr. Dzhemilev has served several terms as the People’s deputy of Ukraine, and is a member of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on Human Rights, National Minorities and International Relations. He is also the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Ethnic Policy, Rights of Indigenous Peoples and National Minorities of Ukraine, Victims of Political Repression, and served as Chairman of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People from 1991 to 2013. Mr. Dzhemilev is a world-famous human rights activist, one of the founders and a member of the Initiative Group for the Protection of Human Rights in the USSR (1969).
Paula Dobriansky is a Senior Fellow at the Future of Diplomacy Project at Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and Vice Chair of the National Executive Committee, U.S. Water Partnership. From 2001 to 2009, Ambassador Dobriansky served as Under Secretary of State for Global Affairs. She served on the Board of Directors for the National Endowment for Democracy from 1993 to 2001.
Jorgan Andrews is the Director of the Office of Eastern European Affairs in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs. He has previously served as Director for Central Asia at the National Security Council from 2007-2009 and from 2006 to 2007, he was Deputy Director in the office of Ukraine, Moldova and Belarus Affairs at the U.S. Department of State. In 2006, he was Deputy Director for NATO Policy in the Office of European Security and Political Affairs at the State Department. From 2004 to 2005, he was the NATO Policy Officer in the same office, responsible for NATO-Ukraine and NATO-Russia issues.
Tamila Tasheva is a co-founder and a Chairwoman of the board of CrimeaSOS. She is a human rights activist and a leader among the younger generation of Crimean Tatars. Ms. Tasheva is actively involved in IDPs issues, the human rights situation in Crimea, advocacy activities, and developing Ukrainian legislation related to social protection and humanitarian law regarding the temporary occupied territories. Ms. Tasheva has wide experience in the civil society sector. Before the annexation of Crimea, she successfully implemented a series of cultural and educational projects and civic initiatives promoting the Crimean Tatar culture and development of civil society in Ukraine.