Thursday, 23 May, 2019

United Nations human rights office: Russian Federation violating int'l law in Crimea

United Nations human rights office: Russian Federation violating int'l law in Crimea United Nations human rights office: Russian Federation violating int'l law in Crimea
Christy Curtis | 27 September, 2017, 00:18

The document, which says the human rights situation has "significantly deteriorated" in the region, notes that hundreds of prisoners were illegally transferred from Crimea to Russian jails.

The report, presented in Geneva, describes a range of abuses including "arbitrary arrests and detentions, enforced disappearances, ill-treatment and torture, and at least one extra-judicial execution".

"The citizenship issue has had a major impact on the lives of many residents of Crimea", High Commissioner Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein said in a press release.

Crimea, which has a Russian-speaking majority, voted to join Russia in a referendum that was not recognised by the worldwide community.

Such people left in citizenship limbo "cannot own agricultural land, vote and be elected, register a religious community, apply to hold a public meeting, hold positions in the public administration" or even register their auto, the United Nations probe found.

"Education in Ukrainian has all but disappeared from Crimean schools", the report adds.

Washington has expressed concern about the decision of a court in Russian-occupied Crimea against Ukrainian journalist Mykola Semena and demanded that all charges be dropped.

Frazer said the rights office was continuing to push for access through "official communication" with the Russian government, but that there were no imminent signs of a breakthrough.

Some detainees were ill-treated, and at least three died after they did not receive the medical care they needed, the report says.

The Tatar parliament, the Mejlis, boycotted the referendum on joining Russian Federation.

[A] uthorities in Crimea have failed to effectively investigate most allegations of human rights violations committed by the security forces or armed groups acting under the direction or control of the state.

In addition to the 20 recommendations to Russian Federation, the report also encourages the Government of Ukraine to "use all legal and diplomatic means available to promote and guarantee the enjoyment of the human rights of residents of Crimea".

The report stressed that Crimean Tatar communities "have been constricted in their ability to display" cultural symbols and publicly celebrate important dates.

It says there is no accountability for these crimes, so violations continue with impunity.

"We call on the Russian occupation authorities to vacate Mr. Semena's conviction, allow him to resume his journalistic activity, and cease their campaign to stifle dissent in Crimea", the statement reads.

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