June 21, 2019

Foreign Affairs Committee passes motion by Wrzesnewskyj on Crimean Tatar genocide


OTTAWA – Canada’s Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development on June 13 passed a motion introduced by Member of Parliament Borys Wrzesnewskyj (Etobicoke Center) to recognize the 1944 deportations of the Crimean Tatars by Stalin as genocide.

Despite the efforts of several Conservative MPs to filibuster the motion in the Foreign Affairs Committee, Mr. Wrzesnewskyj’s perseverance paid off and the motion passed unanimously.

“In this 75th memorial year of the 1944 Crimean Tatar Genocide (Sürgün­lik), I would like to thank all the members serving on the Foreign Affairs Committee for realizing the importance of recognizing the Crimean Tatar Genocide and passing my motion unanimously in Committee,” said Mr. Wrzes­newskyj. “I would also like to thank Chair Michael Levitt, who expertly prevented the filibustering of this motion before the clock ran out.”

The motion Mr. Wrzesnewskyj introduced in the Foreign Affairs Committee reads:

“That pursuant to Standing Order 108(2), and based upon the witness testimony of Mr. Mustafa Dzhemilev on May 16, 2019, and of Mr. Vladimir Kara-Murza on June 10, 2019, the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development immediately report to the House the following: that in support of the historic truth and as requested by Mustafa Dzhemilev, the Crimean Tatar deportation of 1944 be recognized as a genocide perpetrated by Soviet dictator Stalin, and that May 18 be designated a day of remembrance for the Crimean Tatar deportation (Sürgünlik).”

On May 16, Mr. Dzhemilev appeared before Canada’s Foreign Affairs Committee and had urged the passing of Mr. Wrzesnewskyj’s Motion-214 “Crimean Tatar Sürgünlik.” He spoke of the great significance for all Crimean Tatars for Canada to formally recognize the Sürgünlik as genocide and to establish a Memorial Day. The Crimean Tatar delegation briefed members of the Foreign Affairs Committee on this genocidal crime and the Kremlin’s current methodical ethnocide of the Crimean Tatars in illegally annexed Crimea.

On June 10, Mr. Kara-Murza, a Russian pro-democracy opposition leader, testified before the Foreign Affairs Committee about the worsening human rights situation in Russia and increasing numbers of political prisoners incarcerated by the Putin regime.

Mr. Wrzesnewskyj used the opportunity to pose a question to Mr. Kara-Murza about the plight of the Crimean Tatars and whether he would support a finding of genocide regarding the Sürgünlik.

“I think it would be very important to make such a recognition,” answered Mr. Kara-Murza. This gave Mr. Wrzesnewskyj the opportunity to give “Notice of Motion” on the matter. After the 48-hour wait period, this motion was moved, debated and passed.

Source: Office of MP Borys Wrzesnewskyj