The interim report of the UN Secretary-General on the “Situation of Human Rights in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, Ukraine” has been released as mandated by United Nations General Assembly resolution 74/168. The report covers the period of 1 July to 31 December 2019.
“I am honoured to present reports by the Secretary General and my Office on the human rights situation in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, Ukraine and in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela,” reads the statement by Michelle Bachelet, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.
In particular, the report notes that human rights violations involving torture and other ill-treatment perpetrated by law enforcement agencies continued in Crimea. “It is particularly concerning that, in all documented cases in which victims made credible complaints to the courts and law enforcement authorities, no perpetrator was held accountable,” the statement reads.
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights also emphasizes that there are concerns about inadequate conditions of detention in Crimea, which could amount to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
“The ongoing criminalization of freedom of expression on social media is also worrisome, with journalists and media workers continuing to face interference with their professional activities,” Bachelet underscores.
In addition, the report provides several examples where, in violation of international humanitarian law, the Russian Federation failed to uphold its obligations as the occupying Power in Crimea.
“Moreover, the report reminds the Government of Ukraine of its obligation to use all available means to ensure respect for the enjoyment of human rights in Crimea,” the statement reads.
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights pledges to continue to monitor the human rights situation in Crimea, and stands ready to engage with the Russian Federation, as the occupying Power, as well as with Ukraine, in order to strengthen protection of human rights on the peninsula and throughout the country.
The first interim report of the UN Secretary-General on the “Situation of Human Rights in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, Ukraine” was released in September 2019.