On 26 June 2018 Ukraine along with the international community marks the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture.
Ukraine is a State Party to all international legal instruments aimed at eradication of this shameful phenomenon. Strict implementation of these instruments, primarily of the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment and the Optional Protocol thereto, shall be the measure of the true commitment of Ukrainians to human rights and democratic values. The Ukrainian State is cooperating effectively with the UN Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture and the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and is focusing its efforts on the prevention of torture in the places of deprivation of liberty.
The Russian Federation, as an aggressor state, for over four consecutive years has been committing crimes against the citizens of Ukraine on a daily basis - resorting to torture, psychological pressure on illegally detained and convicted Ukrainian citizens both in the territory of the Russian Federation and on the temporarily occupied territories of our state.
Regular monitoring by specialized international mechanisms with due regard to the principles of unimpeded access to all places of detention, and full privacy of interviews with all detainees in the temporarily occupied territories are still impossible and being rejected by Russia and its occupying administration. It was further evidenced by the recent visit to Ukraine of UN Special Rapporteur on the prevention of torture Mr. Nils Melzer, whom the Russian Federation denied access to the detention places in the occupied Crimea. Meanwhile, the Special Rapporteur was able to meet many victims of torture and ill-treatment, who managed to leave Crimea. The situation is also complicated by the fact that, unlike Ukraine, the Russian Federation is not a party to the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, and therefore the Subcommittee against Torture is unable to provide monitoring in Russia. This country has also almost ceased to cooperate with the Special Procedures of the HRC, in particular, the visit to the Russian Federation of the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment has already been cancelled twice.
On 25 June 2018, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine together with the Security Service of Ukraine held a joint open briefing for representatives of the diplomatic corps in Kyiv on crimes of the Russian Federation, as well as of its occupying administration in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine, in particular on torturing hostages and illegally detained persons. We are convinced that the opportunity to hear direct evidence of former hostages and illegally detained persons will necessarily contribute to the consolidation of the international community in helping victims of these crimes and counteracting further serious violations of human rights by the aggressor country. Increasing the pressure of the international community on Russia is extremely important in the liberation of Ukrainians - political prisoners and hostages who are illegally detained in Russia, in temporarily occupied territories of parts of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts and in Crimea.
We remind the Russian Federation that it is a party to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment and to the European Convention for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment and demand that Russia fulfills its international obligations entirely.