Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine

Kyiv 10:33

Permanent Representative of Ukraine regretted the lack of Council of Europe attention to blatant human rights violations in Crimea and Donbas

29 November 2017, 19:03

Statement of the Permanent Representative of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba on the 1301st meeting of the Committee of Ministers (Deputies) under point 4.1. Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights – Presentation of the 3rd quarterly activity report 2017

Commissioner Muižnieks, this delegation thanks you for joining us today and presenting your 3rd quarterly activity report for the year 2017.

We carefully studied the distributed report and consider it a solid overview of your dynamic activities. We commend you for actively engaging in a number of issues related to the protection of human rights in Europe.

However, we regret that the disastrous situations with human rights protection in Ukrainian Crimea and Donbas seem to have fallen off your radar during the reported period.

Over the same period human rights crisis in these territories were reported, inter alia, by:

  • the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in its report "Situation of human rights in the temporarily occupied Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol (Ukraine)", published in September, and
  • the Human Rights Watch report published in November.

These documents clearly depict the scale of internationally wrongful acts and human rights violations, committed by the Russian occupation authorities in Crimea, and once again prove that the Russian Federation blatantly violates its respective international legal obligations.

These reports also provide clear facts that Russian authorities in Crimea have intensified persecution of Crimean Tatars under various pretexts and with the apparent goal of completely silencing dissent on the peninsula.

Unfortunately, Russia descends even to manhunt, like in the case of 19-year old Ukrainian Pavlo Hryb. This young Ukrainian citizen was abducted in Belarus in August, immediately transferred to the Russian Federation and illegally detained there.

I regret that we have not seen any reaction from the Commissioner to any of the recent brutal human rights violations, committed by the Russian authorities.

Allow me also to rescue from oblivion par 9 of the decision of this Committee “Situation in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol (Ukraine)”. This paragraph “invited the Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe to consider providing follow-up on his report based on the findings of his visit to Crimea in September 2014 and assess the current situation of human rights and fundamental freedoms on the peninsula”. We encourage you to accept this invitation.

Having this said, I would like to assure you, Commissioner Muznieks, of our gratitude for everything you have done for Ukraine before and the strong commitment of my country to cooperating with you.

I thank you, Mr Chairperson.

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