UN Secretary-General’s report on Crimea reveals new violations of Russia
UN Secretary-General António Guterres, who published a report on human rights violations in the temporarily occupied Crimea in pursuance of the General Assembly resolution, has clearly documented Russia’s new violations of international humanitarian law.
“The report of the UN Secretary-General clearly defines the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol as the territories of Ukraine which are temporarily occupied by the Russian Federation. In addition, it is noted that Russia has continued to apply its criminal law in the occupied territories. Such actions are another violation of international humanitarian law by the occupier,” Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the United Nations Sergiy Kyslytsya said in an exclusive commentary to Ukrinform on June 24.
At the same time, according to the Ukrainian diplomat, the UN Secretary-General pointed out that the Russian occupation authorities were still blocking the access of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) to the peninsula “to monitor the situation on the ground.”
In addition, according to the Permanent Representative, the document cites specific facts of violations of the rights of defendants, as well as the lack of impartial public proceedings. At the same time, it is clearly stated that the detainees do not have adequate defense, they are not allowed to meet with Ukrainian consuls. The report also highlights tortures and forcible transfer of defendants and convicts to Russia.
Another important aspect of the report is drawing attention to the long practice of searches and raids, especially against the Crimean Tatars, violations of freedom of assembly, freedom of speech, the ban on the activities of the Mejlis, violations of religious rights, Kyslytsya noted. In addition, according to him, the document emphasizes the illegality of the automatic imposition of Russian citizenship on Ukrainians living in the temporarily occupied Crimea.
“We are grateful to the Secretary-General and other UN agencies for constant monitoring of Russia’s violations of human rights and international humanitarian law on the Crimean peninsula. It is important that not only Ukraine and its partners speak about this, but also the official UN documents with a clear reflection of consequences of Russia’s occupation are released,” the Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the United Nations emphasized.
Kyslytsya also praised the UN’s call on Russia to abide by its international obligations and stressed that the current report would be an “auxiliary tool” for international pressure on Russia to de-occupy Crimea and bring Russia to justice in accordance with international law.