Tagged with: Russia
On May 18, 1944, the Soviet secret police forces dragged thousands of Crimean Tatars from their homes, packed them into cattle cars, and deported this entire nation to a remote corner of Central Asia.
Today is the 73rd anniversary of this brutal crime, an attempt to wipe a small nation from the face of the Earth. Last year, the House debated my bill which would have recognized this atrocity as genocide, but the Liberal government shamefully ordered Liberal MPs to vote against it in an attempt to appease Russia. The Liberals’ efforts to please Vladimir Putin were repaid with a smear campaign against their foreign minister, showing the futility of this approach.
Today, the Crimean Tatars face renewed peril at the hands of Vladimir Putin’s illegal occupation of Crimea. They are denied freedom of speech, the freedom to practice their faith, and are subject to harassment, assault and kidnappings simply because of their nationality.
The same evil ideology is at play in both the Soviet regime’s brutal deportation of an entire nation, and in Vladimir Putin’s unending war against Ukraine.
Canada has always been a friend to Ukraine, and today’s anniversary is a reminder of why we stand with Ukrainians and Crimean Tatars to defend our values against the brutality of regimes like that of Vladimir Putin.
Statement on the defeat of Bill C-306 from the Canadian Association of Crimean Tatars:
Dec. 14, 2016
OTTAWA, ON – Kerry Diotte, Member of Parliament for Edmonton Griesbach is deeply disappointed the majority of Liberals voted to scuttle a bill to recognize an act of genocide against the indigenous people of Ukraine.
Diotte’s Private Member’s Bill proposed to condemn the Soviet Union’s 1944 deportation of 200,000 Crimean Tatars as a genocide to be commemorated every May 18.
It gained widespread support but was defeated Dec. 13 at second reading in the House of Commons when almost all Liberals voted against it.
“Justin Trudeau and the Liberals confirmed that they care more about making friends with Vladimir Putin than standing up for Ukrainians and Crimean Tatars,” said Diotte.
In 1944, Josef Stalin ordered the entire Crimean Tatar nation deported to Central Asia. The Crimean Tatars were dragged from their homes in the dead of night, packed into cattle cars, and shipped thousands of kilometres away.
They were left without food, water or shelter. Thousands died, and the survivors were banned from speaking their language, practising their Muslim faith, or passing their culture to their children. Despite this brutal oppression, the Crimean Tatars persevered in exile, resisted the Soviet regime, and returned home to the Ukrainian region of Crimea after the USSR collapsed in 1991.
Under Putin’s illegal military occupation of Crimea since 2014, the Crimean Tatars face renewed peril. Dozens have been arrested, abducted or murdered, and the community faces a relentless assault on their freedom of assembly, freedom of speech and freedom of worship.
“We can’t separate the deportations of 1944 from Putin’s illegal annexation of Crimea today,” said Diotte. “The same evil ideology is at work in both the Soviet regime that tore 200,000 people from their homes and left them in the middle of Asia, and Putin’s unprovoked attack on a peaceful neighbour.”
During the debate on Diotte’s bill, Liberal government representatives denied that a genocide took place against the Crimean Tatars, and even claimed that Stalin didn’t intend to destroy them as a nation.
“It was especially sad to see some Liberals who claim to be a friend of Ukraine not have the courage to stand up and be counted,” said Diotte.
“Most of these Liberal members didn’t have the courage to go against their party line that denies the Crimean Tatar genocide,” he said. “It’s shameful and hypocritical.”
Kerry Diotte, MP
I had the pleasure of continuing the debate on my private member’s bill, Bill C-306 at Second Reading.
The history of 1944 is clear. Josef Stalin signed an order that sent the Crimean Tatars into exile in Central Asia. The Soviet Union tore innocent people from their homes, packed them into cattle cars, and sent them to perish. They were erased from history, denied their language, culture and faith. These events constitute genocide.
After officially declaring the deportations of 1944 a genocide, Ukraine has issued a call to rest of the world to respond.
As close friend, Canada needs to respond to that call. I urge all Members of Parliament to support Bill c-306.
Dec. 8, 2016
“Yesterday, the House of Commons debated my Bill, C-306, at second reading.
I was pleased to hear statements of support from all corners of the House.
However, during the debate, we learned that Justin Trudeau’s government has caved to pressure from Vladimir Putin’s regime, and embraced denial of the Crimean Tatar genocide.
Trudeau’s Liberal government opposes passing Bill C-306, and is against recognizing the deportations of 1944 as genocide.
Not only does the Liberal government believe that Canada should not recognize historical acts of genocide unless the United Nations permits them to, which is a break with Canada’s traditional position in support of the victims of genocide, but they have also denied that there is a historical consensus on the nature of the events of 1944.
The history of 1944 is clear. Josef Stalin signed an order that sent the Crimean Tatars into exile in Central Asia. The Soviet Union tore innocent people from their homes, packed them into cattle cars, and sent them to perish. They were erased from history, denied their language, culture and faith. That constitutes genocide.
Today, the Crimean Tatars face renewed peril at the hands of Vladimir Putin. Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government does not want to stand up for them.
I urge them to abandon this shameful position.
Below is a link to a short video detailing the Soviet atrocity to the Crimean Tatars.”
Kerry Diotte, MP
This heartrending video on the 1944 deportation of Crimean Tatars was created by survivors and their descendants in Ukraine.
Today in the House of Commons, my Private Member’s Bill, C-306, the Crimean Tatar Deportation (“Sürgünlik”) Memorial Day Act will be debated. Visit here to see the full text of my bill.
Canada’s formal recognition of this genocidal act will bring Canadians, Ukrainians and Crimean Tatars closer together, and in this spirit I am hoping to have the support of all Members of Parliament.
I’m pleased to receive the support of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress for my Bill, C-306.
I’m so pleased that the all-party Canada-Ukraine Parliamentary Friendship Group has endorsed my bill, C-306.
Bill C-306 condemns a dark chapter in history and renews Canada’s principled stance in support of freedom, democracy and the rule of law.
Read the full text of Bill C-306 here: http://www.parl.gc.ca/content/hoc/Bills/421/Private/C-306/C-306_1/C-306_1.PDF
In the short time since I introduced Bill C-306, I’m honoured to have received messages of support from Canadian groups, Tatar leaders and individuals from across the country and abroad.
Here’s a copy of the support letters that I have received from:
- Rustem Irsay – President of the Canadian Association of Crimean Tatars;
- Orest Steciw – National President of the League of Ukrainian Canadians;
- Mustafa Jemilev – Commissioner of the President of Ukraine for the Affairs of Crimean Tatars;
- and Refat Chubarov – People’s Deputy of Ukraine Chair of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People.
Visit here to read the full text of Bill C-306: http://www.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?Language=E&Mode=1&DocId=8446568
Today, I had the honour to begin the debate in the House of Commons on my Private Member’s Bill, Bill C-306 – the Crimean Tatar Deportation (“Sürgünlik”) Memorial Day Act.
This Act would recognize the mass deportations of Crimean Tatars in 1944 by the Soviet regime as genocide and establish May 18 as a day of commemoration.
In 2015, the Parliament of Ukraine officially recognized the deportations of 1944 as genocide. Subsequently, they called on other countries to join them in recognizing this atrocity as genocide.
Canada has long-been a defender of human rights and the rule of law. As a loyal friend to Ukraine, now is the time to respond to that call.
This Bill is important today because we cannot separate the deportations of 1944 and Russia’s theft of Crimea from Ukraine 70 years later.