PACE accuses Russia of violating human rights in Crimea and Donbas – resolution

Дата: 13 October 2016
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The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) adopted in Strasbourg a resolution on the violation of human rights on Ukrainian territory, not controlled by the Ukrainian authorities, noting that responsibility for such existing violations rests with the Russian Federation.

The document also contains several other critical points for Ukraine, which have not previously been approved at the level of international organizations.

Both in Crimea and in the conflict zone in the Donbas region, serious human rights violations have occurred, and are still occurring, as documented by numerous reportsThese violations include extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances, torture and inhuman and degrading treatment, unlawful detentions and disproportionate restrictions of the freedom of expression and information,” the resolution says.

The Assembly also called unacceptable humanitarian situation of ordinary detainees sentenced to prison terms before the conflict (about 5,000 persons in the “LPR” alone). Decisions by the Ukrainian judicial authorities on early release (probation, amnesty) are routinely ignored by the de facto authorities, who subject prison inmates to forced labour and various forms of inhuman and degrading treatment. 

The resolution reminds that the internally displaced persons from the “DPR” and “LPR” face expropriation of the properties they left behind due to the unlawful re-registration requirements imposed by the de facto authorities.

PACE resolution has called on EU Member States to keep the sanctions in spite of the economic losses.

The Assembly notes that the economic consequences of the conflict are significant not only for Ukraine and Russia, but also for the European Union and certain countries in Europe, which are to some extent affected by the sanctions against the Russian Federation and the Russian counter-sanctions,” the document states.

At the suggestion of Ukrainian delegation, the following statement was also added in the wording: “Moreover, the international pressure, including sanctions, should remain in place until Russian aggression is stopped and sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine is fully restored within its internationally recognized borders.”

In addition, the Parliamentary Assembly acknowledges in its resolution that the actions of the pro-Russian authorities in Crimea threaten the existence of the Crimean Tatar community.

The Crimean Tatars, following the recent decision of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation on banning the Mejlis and its local branches, have lost their traditional democratic representation. Tatar media and the Tatar’s Muslim religious practice were also targeted,” the document says.

The cumulative effect of these repressive measures is a threat to the Tatar community’s very existence as a distinct ethnic, cultural and religious group,” the PACE members consider.

Moreover, in accordance with reports of authoritative international and non-governmental organisations (in particular Freedom House, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and many others), there are signs of violations of the provisions of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination by the Russian Federation in occupied Crimea in relation to Crimean Tatars.

Russia does not guarantee the right of the Crimean Tatars to equality before the law and the right to protection from violence by the state, the right to freedom of movement, freedom of thought and religion, freedom of expression, of association and of peaceful assembly,” the resolution notes.

Such violations, according to the PACE members, are confirmed by cases of the disappearance of the Crimean Tatars, the prohibition of entry in Crimea for leaders of the Crimean Tatar people, interference with religious practices, prohibition of the Crimean Tatar media and the Mejlis as the recognized supreme body of the Crimean Tatars.

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