The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) adopted a comprehensive resolution recognising the persecution of Crimean Tatars by the aggressor state, the Russian Federation.
The document was supported by the vast majority of delegates – 73. Seventeen delegates voted against, two abstained.
In particular, the PACE resolution reaffirmed the non-recognition of the annexation of Crimea by Russia and condemned the grave violations of human rights on the peninsula, namely the persecution of Crimean Tatars, including killings and enforced disappearances that have not since been subject to an effective investigation.
PACE delegates called for investigation into every crime against Crimean Tatars, for perpetrators to be brought to justice, and for lawyers to be allowed to work without hindrance.
In addition, the Assembly called on the Russian authorities to cease applying Russian law in Crimea and, in conformity with international law, to apply the laws in force in Ukraine.
The PACE paid special attention to the fact that Russia applies laws on terrorism and extremism against the Crimean Tatars. Russia was urged to stop the transfer of detainees from Crimea to Russia and to release all people illegally detained or imprisoned, including for political reasons.
The resolution emphasises that the work of journalists is being persecuted in Crimea, freedom of speech and assembly is being restricted, and human rights defenders who support and defend the interests of the Crimean Tatar people are being pressured. All this creates a climate of fear and hostility on the peninsula.
The adopted document proposes that representatives of Crimean Tatars should be directly involved in the international dialogue related to the situation of Crimean Tatars and Crimea.
In addition, the resolution calls on Russia to ensure full and unimpeded access to Crimea for representatives of international and regional human rights organisations in order to monitor the human rights situation on the peninsula as a territory of Ukraine that is temporarily occupied.
PACE demands that Russia must implement the UN General Assembly resolution, as well as other international legal decisions to end the occupation and restore Ukraine’s territorial integrity.