Crimean media inciting ethnic hatred using hate speech

Myhajlo Butruk

In the beginning of December a scuffle occured between the visitors of Simferopol restaurant “Muscat” and the staff. It seemed like a banal situation which, unfortunately, sometimes happens with drunken visitors.

However, a number of Crimean mass media outlets decided to present this incident in their own way, by focusing on the nationality of the brawl participants.

On December 6 the news agency “Crimean News” released an article titled “Group of Crimean Tatars ransacked the Simferopol restaurant” describing the incident.

On December 7 the research and information publication “Primichanie” issued an article titled “The Tatars attacked an Azerbaijani restaurant in Simferopol”.

If the attackers were of another nationality would the mass media indicate it? – No, they wouldn’t because they never point out nationality.

For example, here are some of the headlines of the news agency “Crimean news”: “Resident of Simferopol attacked the microloans office” – they just say “resident of Simferopol” and do not indicate his nationality.

“Resident of Sevastopol was arrested for raping deaf-mute girl” – here the nationality of perpetrator is not indicated either.

These mass media outlets don’t allow themselves to publish news with headlines: “Russians robbed the store” or “Russians staged a fight in a bar” etc. As it woul immediately be regarded as an act aimed at inciting ethnic hatred. In these cases the nationality of the perpetrator is irrelevant. For some reason they allow such rhetoric in the case of the Crimean Tatars. All of this is a deliberate policy of inciting hatred based on ethnicity, namely towards the indigenous people of Crimea.

This is not just a position of several Crimean media outlets.  someone well-known in certain circles, a lawyer, a man who calls himself a human rights defender, made a public comment about the incident in the Simferopol restaurant. Although he described the inaction of law enforcement agencies in this situation he began his speech emphasizing the fact that “a group of Crimean Tatars ransacked a restaurant”. If lawyers, who call themselves human rights defenders, allow themselves to use language of hatred towards the indigenous people of Crimea then it is not just a random incorrect wording, but a purposeful policy.

This rhetoric of the so called Crimean mass media and so called “human rights defenders” toward the Crimean Tatar people is a policy of inciting a ethnic hatred in Crimea.

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