Over 30,000 Crimeans Illegally Conscripted into Army of Occupying Power

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The Prosecutor’s Office of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol served eight military commissars, who have been directly organising and conducting illegal conscription campaigns in various districts of the occupied Crimea since 2015, with notices of charges. As a result of “measures” taken by those commissars, more than 30,000 Crimeans have been conscripted into the army of the occupying power.

These actions violate Article 51 of IV Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War of 1949 which stipulates that the occupying power may not compel protected persons to serve in its armed or auxiliary forces.

In particular, the “military commissar of the Republic of Crimea” was charged with violating the laws and customs of war (Part 1 of Article 438 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine). The article sanctions a sentence of eight to 12 years in prison.

The investigation establishes that the occupation authorities appointed the suspect, a citizen of the Russian Federation, to the position of “military commissar of the Republic of Crimea” in April 2017. Since then, he has been engaged in forced conscription of Crimean people into the armed forces of the Russian Federation.

“Illegal conscription campaigns carried out by the occupying power and its occupation administration on the peninsula are a war crime, and we also regard them in the context of Russia’s policy aimed at changing the demographic composition of the peninsula’s population. Crimeans are actually forced to leave the peninsula to avoid illegal conscription or criminal liability for ‘evading’ such service,” said Nariman Suleymanov, Deputy Head of the Prosecutor’s Office of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol.

Natalia Tolub

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