UN monitors: No human rights improvement in Russian-occupied Crimea in past 10 months

17:58, 16 September 2018
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The mission has prepared its second report on the human rights situation in Crimea, Head of the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine Fiona Frazer told the dt.ua online portal of Dzerkalo Tyzhnia (Mirror Weekly).

The document covers the period from September 13, 2017 to June 30, 2018.

The UN mission analyzes the situation based on international human rights law and through the prism of international humanitarian law (IHL). Each of these systems gives a certain degree of protection to the inhabitants of the occupied territory. The IHL norms are applicable because in December 2016, the UN General Assembly recognized that Russia is an occupying power.

"IHL imposes a number of obligations on the Russian Federation as an occupying power, for example, it should not apply its laws and should not impose its citizenship, residents of the occupied territory should not be forced to join the army of the Russian Federation," Frazer is quoted by dt.ua as saying.

"Nevertheless, we see all this in Crimea, for example, according to official statistics, 12,000 Crimeans have been conscripted into the Russian Federation army since 2015. In addition, the occupying state should not move detainees and prisoners from Crimea to the territory of the Russian Federation. In reality, people detained or convicted since 2014 have been transferred to the territory of the Russian Federation in order to stand trial or serve their sentence," she added.

Read alsoOHCHR documents 81 cases of human rights violations in Russian-occupied Crimea

The report was prepared in accordance with UN General Assembly resolution 68/262, reaffirming the territorial integrity of Ukraine, and General Assembly resolutions 71/205 and 72/190, recognizing Crimea as a territory of Ukraine temporarily occupied by the Russian Federation. The report covers the period from September 13, 2017 to June 30, 2018.

The findings of this report are based on nearly 200 in-depth interviews and meetings conducted in mainland Ukraine with victims, witnesses, lawyers, Crimean residents, internally displaced persons (IDPs), members of national communities and religious groups, as well as site visits to the administrative boundary line. The UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine has not been able to visit Crimea as the Russian Federation continued to deny access to the peninsula in contradiction to the General Assembly resolutions that reaffirm the territorial integrity of Ukraine and recognize the Russian Federation as an occupying power.

The report provides a detailed analysis of human rights and international humanitarian law violations committed within 10 months and ends with 20 recommendations to the Government of the Russian Federation that is primarily responsible for human rights protection, accountability and redress for victims in Crimea, as an occupying power. A number of recommendations are addressed to the Government of Ukraine and international community.

The UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine was deployed to Ukraine in March 2014. It has offices in Kyiv, Donetsk, Kharkiv, Kramatorsk, Luhansk, Mariupol and Odesa, working in the conflict-affected area on both sides of the contact line.

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