EU Report: Human Rights Situation in Crimea Deteriorates, Reforms make Swift Advance
” … Ukraine’s attachment to the democratic principles and values it shares with the EU occupied much of the time and energy of the country’s political leaders and institutions”
The European Commission issued its 2019 report on the country’s implementation of commitments under the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, citing six key areas, including political dialogue, governance, and strengthening institutions; security; and energy.
The report outlines the progress Ukraine has made from “November 2018 and ahead of the EU-Ukraine Association Council of 28 January 2020.”
“The human rights situation in the illegally annexed Crimean peninsula continued to deteriorate in 2019,” the report, published on December 13 stated.
“Since the new Government and Parliament started their work, rapid legislative activity has resumed, reflecting the high demand from the citizens of Ukraine, in particular on economic reforms and rule of law.”
“Ukrainian civil society continued to play a very active role in the promotion and oversight of reforms and, increasingly, in monitoring the implementation of the AA.”
As in 2018, systematic repression of individuals seen to oppose de facto “authorities” continued unabated. The activities of the Crimean Tatar Mejlis remain banned since 2016 under Russian law and wide-ranging intimidation and persecution of the community have continued.
Arrests of Crimean Tatars and searches of their homes have intensified. Restrictions on fundamental freedoms including education rights have been noted.
Also, the EU notes gross violations of fundamental freedoms by armed groups in non-government controlled areas of eastern Ukraine, including through targeted killings, arbitrary and incommunicado detention, sexual and gender-based violence, torture and arbitrary violation of property rights.
Freedom of media as well as freedom of religion or belief are also severely affected in these areas, while civic space is highly restricted.