UN: Donbas conflict leads to significant restrictions on freedom of expression and association in Ukraine
The armed conflict has led to significant restrictions on freedom of expression, assembly, association and religion throughout Ukraine.
This is stated in the report by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on the situation in Ukraine covering the period of February 16 – May 15, 2016.
The report reads that the trends concerning fundamental freedoms in the government-controlled territory of Ukraine raise concerns as “anti-extremism and anti-terrorism laws have been used to criminalize non-violent behaviour and stifle dissenting opinion.”
The UN also stresses that the situation with freedom of expression in the “DPR” and “LPR” hardly contributes to holding of elections there.
“The OHCHR doubts that the lack of freedom of opinion and expression, freedom of association and freedom of assembly in the militant-controlled territories contributes to holding free and fair elections in Donetsk and Luhansk regions, according to a comprehensive package of measures for implementation of the Minsk agreements,” the document says.