Freedom House describes Russia’s Duma elections in Crimea as ‘anything but free and fair’
International NGO Freedom House has described holding elections to the Russian State Duma in the illegally annexed Crimea as “anything but free and fair.”
This is stated in the organization’s released statement, the press office of the Freedom House reports.
“The elections held in Russian-occupied Crimea, and across Russia, do not legitimize Russia’s authority in Ukrainian territory,” said Robert Herman, vice president for international programs.
“The voting was anything but free and fair, since the residents of Crimea have no say in who will lead or claim to represent them,” he added.
Freedom House recalled that the report “Freedom in the World – 2016” assessed Crimea as an area not controlled by Ukraine and as “not free.” The level of observance of political rights on the peninsula was estimated at 7 points, civil liberties – 6 points (whereas 7 is the worst rating possible).
As a reminder, the elections were held across Russia on September 18, including the territories occupied by Russia, such as Crimea. The parliamentary elections were held in the Crimean peninsula for the first time after annexation by Russia in 2014.
Crimean Tatars boycotted the elections to the Russian State Duma in the annexed Crimea.
“Crimean Tatars boycotted the elections to Russia’s State Duma. It is significant and important, it is expression of will, protest, expression of opinion, but not a crime. The crime was committed by those, who had annexed the part of a sovereign state, established the occupation authorities, significantly increased militarization of the area and… despite many warnings, organized and carried out the State Duma elections in the foreign territory belonging to another state,” Deputy Chairman of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people Ilmi Umerov posted on Facebook.