Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine

Kyiv 05:07

Oral presentation of the 19th OHCHR report on the situation in Ukraine and report “The situation in human rights in the temporarily occupied Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol (Ukraine)”

27 September, 19:26

As prepared, check against delivery

 

Oral presentation of the 19th OHCHR report on the situation in Ukraine and report “The situation in human rights in the temporarily occupied Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol (Ukraine)”

Statement by Mr. SERGIY KYSLYTSYA,

Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine

 

Geneva, September 26, 2017

 

Mr. President,

Let me thank Deputy High Commissioner for the presentation and update.

We praise the hard work of the UN Monitoring Mission in Ukraine whose findings contribute to reporting on human rights situation in my country. We also note the tremendous efforts of the High Commissioner’s Office in preparing a dedicated thematic report on the situation of human rights in the temporarily occupied Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol in implementing the UNGA Resolution 71/205. 

We insist that despite the denial of entry to the temporary occupied Ukrainian peninsula by the Russian Federation, the Monitoring Mission had multiple reliable sources of information to conduct a quality monitoring of the human rights developments in the occupied Crimea.

The peculiarity of the situation is that there is a clear case of cognitive dissonance of Moscow’s position. On the one hand, the Russian propagandistic media spare no effort to represent trials on numerous Crimean Tatar and Ukrainian activists but when it comes to admitting the facts about the same trials in the report they totally deny it.

The narrative of the Russian delegates that we heard so many times in this room appears very discouraging as it proves that the Russian officials put themselves in the moral and intellectual ghetto, surpassing the odious standards of the soviet diplomacy. Nevertheless we should continue to look for means and ways to influence the Russian government to act responsibly and to respect the findings and decisions of the major UN bodies.

Both reports presented today once again prove that the main cause for significant deterioration of the human rights situation in the territories of Ukraine temporarily out of the Government control is the brutal interference of the Russian Federation: in Donbas, primarily, by the supply from this state of foreign fighters, ammunition and heavy weaponry; in Crimea – by multiple violations of international human rights and humanitarian law by the occupying authorities.

Last time, speaking in the Council, I mentioned the case of Ahtem Chiygoz, Deputy Head of the Crimean Tatar Mejlis, imprisoned by Russia on legally nonsensical charges. Just two weeks ago he was sentenced to 8 years of prison.

Another Deputy Head of the Mejlis, Ilmi Umerov, with serious health problems, remains under house arrest, not even allowed to leave Crimea for medical treatment. Tomorrow the so called court will announce the sentence for Umerov, already written long ago in Moscow.

It is yet another manifestation of Russia's repressive policy on the Crimean peninsula, aimed at suppressing dissent voices and opposition to the Kremlin regime, as well as yet another evidence of discrimination against Crimean Tatars and Ukrainians.

Ukrainians and Crimean Tatars get arrested even for their posts in social networks or, as it happened in case of Crimean farmer Volodymyr Balukh in December 2016, for raising Ukrainian national flag in a private residence.

We call on this Council, on the international community to use all available possibilities to secure the immediate release of the illegally detained Ukrainian citizens – political prisoners of Russia, including Oleh Sentsov, Oleksandr Kolchenko, Stanislav Klykh, Mykola Karpyuk and Roman Sushchenko, as well as Akhtem Chygoz, Volodymyr Balukh, Mykola Semena in the occupied Crimea, and many other Ukrainian hostages.

While welcoming the report on Crimea we insist that GA resolution 71/205 is yet to be fully implemented. What has been done so far in Geneva has to be complemented by open and thorough review in New York.

Together with our partners we continue to insist that there is a clear nexus between preventing and stopping human rights violations, human security and maintaining international peace and security as the main UN bodies in New York are tasked.

Mr. President,

Despite the ongoing external aggression, Ukraine remains on a path of comprehensive reforms, including in the field of human rights.

We base these reforms on the standards of the UN, Council of Europe as well as on the OSCE recommendations.

We regret, however, that some of the OSCE recommendations, especially in the areas of national minorities and their languages have been ignored and most important of them were not adopted. Ukraine is ready to revisit those recommendations with the view of their adoption, especially now, when the issue of the minority languages is moved so high on the agenda. We believe that OHCHR has a good expertise in this area and encourage the Office’s effective cooperation with OSCE and Council of Europe.

Be it UN, be it OSCE or the Council of Europe, Ukraine continues to stand ready for discussions based on facts and reality, and advises our partners to act similarly.

Thank you.

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