Courts in occupied Crimea hand down 17 unlawful sentences to locals for "evading draft" in Russia – rights activists
In 2019, the so-called courts in the occupied Crimea issued 17 unlawful sentences to local residents for "evading draft" in the Russian Federation.
As part of the spring conscription campaign, occupation authorities drafted 3,400 local men, according to the website of the Crimean Human Rights Group.
Human rights activists say that in 2019, 20 new criminal cases were initiated under Art. 328 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation ("evading military service in the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation"). In 17 of them, a verdict was handed down, while three hearings are pending.
It is noted that in July alone, five persons were sentenced under the said article, while at least 69 such cases were launched against Crimeans.
According to the rights watchdog, since the start of the Russian occupation, about 18,900 inhabitants of Crimea were called up for military service in the Russian army.
“The Crimean human rights group recalls that the recruitment of Crimeans into the army of the Russian Federation grossly violates the norms of international humanitarian law. Conscription conducted in the occupied territories into the army of the occupying state, as well as ongoing propaganda on the territory of Crimea, violate article 51 of the Convention on the Protection of Civilian Populations during the war (Fourth Geneva Convention), while the transfer of drafted citizens of Ukraine from the occupied territory to the territory of the Russian Federation violates Article 49 of this Convention," the statement says.
Human rights activists added that they continue their work to ensure that, with the support of the international community and democratic governments, Russia ceases military draft in Crimea.