The situation on the temporary occupied by the Russian Federation territory of Crimea in UNESCO’s fields of competence continues to deteriorate. This is stated in the report of the Director-General prepared pursuant to the decision of the UNESCO Executive Board “Follow-up of the situation in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea (Ukraine)” published on the official website of the Organization.
The report is based on the information, provided by the UNESCO Secretariat, Ukrainian Side and UNESCO’s institutional partners: the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Representative on Freedom of the Media Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the International Council on Monuments and Sites and Amnesty International.
The document highlights blatant violations by the occupying authorities of the rights of Crimean Tatars in education, usage of native language and freedom of press.
The document refers to the Order of the International Court of Justice of the 19 April 2017 which obliges the Russian Federation to refrain from maintaining or imposing limitations on the ability of the Crimean Tatar community to conserve its representative institutions and to ensure the availability of education in the Ukrainian language.
International human rights organizations record facts of systematic violations of freedom of media and security of journalists, in particular, the spread of fake information, negative discourse imposing the policy of hatred and intolerance as well as pressure on independent media such as closure of TV and radio stations, intimidations, searches and arrests of journalists.
It is emphasized that due to the illegal occupation of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol it became impossible to implement international projects in the field of natural sciences planned for 2013-2017, and lack of access for Ukraine to its objects of cultural heritage, historical and architectural monuments, museums, biosphere reserves, scientific centers etc.
The document stresses the need of the establishment of an effective international mechanism of monitoring of the situation in occupied Crimea. According to the report, the consultations on the elaboration of parameters of a direct monitoring activity are under way.
The report of the Director-General will be considered at the 202nd session of the UNESCO Executive Board on October 4-18 in Paris.