ECHR may recognize Russia established control over Crimea even before occupation
Ganna Yudkivska, the judge of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) from Ukraine, has said the court considering the intergovernmental case on Ukraine's complaint against the Russian Federation should determine the date when Russia established control over Crimea and took responsibility for all human rights violations on the peninsula.
The judge noted the complaint "includes very serious accusations against Russia," she told European Pravda.
"These are Article 2 of the Convention on the right to life, Article 3 on the prohibition of torture, and Article 5 on unlawful deprivation of liberty. There were abductions of activists, there were violations of freedom of speech where journalists were arrested and their equipment and materials were seized, and many other things," she explained.
Ukraine also accuses Russia of persecuting ethnic minorities, including through the closure of the Mejlis.
Despite the fact that the Council of Europe considers Crimea to be Ukrainian territory, the state that controls it is recognized to be guilty of violating human rights on the peninsula, therefore the ECHR should establish when exactly Russia took responsibility for systemic human rights violations in Crimea. According to the judge, Ukraine claims the Russian Federation had controlled Crimea starting February 2014.
"This complaint also includes episodes that, in fact, led to the annexation itself," Yudkivska said.
"The key question is whether Russia controlled Crimea even before the annexation, that is, until March 27, 2014," she explained.