Russian Federation state agents committing abuses in Crimea

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The report stresses that Crimean Tatars and particularly those with links to the highest representative body, the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatars, were particularly subjected to these violations ever since the Mejlis had boycotted the bogus referendum on joining Russian Federation in March 2014.

United Nations human rights chief Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein said the imposition of Russian citizenship can be equated to forcing people to "swear allegiance to a power they may consider as hostile".

The report lists 20 recommendations for Russian Federation in Crimea to reduce and remedy human rights violations, including re-implementation of Ukrainian law and ensuring independent and impartial administration of justice.

"We call on the Russian occupation authorities to vacate Mr. Semena's conviction, allow him to resume his journalistic activity, and cease their campaign to stifle dissent in Crimea", she said.

A Crimean official also complained that the account was not objective and did not reflect reality.

The report, presented in Geneva, describes a range of abuses including "arbitrary arrests and detentions, enforced disappearances, ill-treatment and torture, and at least one extra-judicial execution".

It adds that there have been "intrusive law enforcement raids of private properties" which "interfered with [the] right to privacy".

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The UN also flagged Russia's citizenship laws imposed on Crimea residents as a human rights violation.

The report highlights the consequences of the imposition of Russian citizenship on residents of Crimea after the occupation, which has prompted thousands to leave the peninsula, and says that Moscow's actions have threatened the preservation of Ukrainian culture and identity in the region.

Additionally, in a number of emblematic cases, many Crimean and Ukrainian media outlets have been denied the right to operate, people were sanctioned for holding one-person pickets; and all 22 congregations of Jehovah's Witnesses in Crimea have been effectively outlawed. It said it based its report on interviews, monitoring and fact-finding missions carried out from mainland Ukraine.

It says that Russian legislation created to fight terrorism has been used to curb criticism by restricting the freedom of journalists, bloggers, and others who refused to recognize Russia's takeover or rejected Russian nationality.

The UN said Crimea's Turkic-speaking minority, the Tatars, who make up 12 per cent of its population, had been targeted.

The United States on September 25 said it is "deeply troubled" by the conviction of RFE/RL journalist Mykola Semena by a court in Russia-occupied Crimea last week.

It added that the ban on the Mejlis "has infringed on the civil, political and cultural rights of Crimean Tatars".

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