Ukrainian human rights activists spoke about people affected by the restrictions on the crossing of the CPEE with Crimea. In particular, Olga Kuryshko, the coordinator of the NGO “CrimeaSOS,” drew attention to order № 979-r (On the temporary suspension of checkpoints of entry into the temporarily occupied territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol and exit from it, aimed at preventing the spread in Ukraine of acute respiratory disease COVID-19 caused by coronavirus SARS-CoV-2). It turned out that the document was signed on Saturday, 8 August, and the work of the CPEE, according to this document, was stopped in the morning of the next day – Sunday, 9 August to 30 August.

Thus, hundreds of people who had to cross the administrative border with Crimea were deprived of the opportunity not only to prepare for changes in advance but also to get advice from the authorities on innovations.

“During the period from 9 to 14 August, 462 people applied to our organisations, and 428 applied to the border crossing. This means that 90%, even 92% of appeals to human rights activists were related exclusively to the intersection,” said Olga Skrypnyk, Chairman of the Crimean Human Rights Group.

The problem is that the conditions for crossing the administrative border are not clearly spelled out at the disposal of № 979-p. This creates a number of difficulties for those who need to get to or leave the Crimea.

“For some reason, the Government has decided that all our people live at the place of their registration. Such a category as IDPs is not considered – it is about 50,000 people who left the Crimea. Currently, the situation is such that no one can say anything clearly. They may say that “most likel,y if your relative is ill, you will be let in” added Anna Rassamakhina, the Coordinator of the Crimean Reception of the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union.

Human rights activists demand that the government lift restrictions on the work of the CPEE on the administrative border with Crimea.

“The ideal option is to repeal the №979-p order and adopt another regulatory framework that would regulate the issue of crossing the CPEE by legal methods, in compliance with the principles of law,” Anna Rassamakhina said.

The new document should expand the number of humanitarian grounds for crossing the checkpoint to comply with the principle of family unity, provide clarifications on documents confirming the reasons for crossing the checkpoint, expand the categories of citizens who may cross the checkpoint with the Crimea, and so on.

Natalia Tolub

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