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UN Secretary-General Calls for Russia to Stop Torture in Crimea

Antonio Guresh OON

Antonio Guterres, UN Secretary-General, has published a report entitled “The Human Rights Situation in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the City of Sevastopol, Ukraine,” prepared following the UN General Assembly resolution 74/168.

The core element of the report is the UN Secretary-General’s call for the Russian Federation, as an occupying power, to end gross human rights violations and to abide by all its obligations under international humanitarian and human rights law.

First of all, it concerns the cessation of torture, illegal arrests, arbitrary detentions, enforced disappearances, ensuring freedom of expression, peaceful assembly, lifting the Majlis of Crimean Tatar People ban, and so on. Amid the attacks on the Orthodox Church of Ukraine in Crimea, the UN Secretary-General’s call to ensure freedom of religion and belief without any discrimination or the introduction of artificial regulatory barriers is crucial.

In the context of the policy purposefully pursued by the Russian occupation authorities to change the demographic composition of the Crimean Peninsula, the report fixes the destruction of the Crimean Tatars’ private houses as an example of the forced eviction. Particular attention is paid to the growing number of internally displaced persons from the temporarily occupied Crimea.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine responded to the UN chief report: “The Russian Federation continues to violate international law massively by using military courts in Russia to convict Ukrainian citizens illegally under the ‘fighting extremism and terrorism’ pretext. There are cases of transfer of illegally detained citizens of Ukraine from the temporarily occupied peninsula to Russia’s territory without properly informing of the relatives about their whereabouts and the consular access as a result of the forced change of citizenship ”

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine called on the international community to respond to the ongoing violations of international law by the occupying power in the occupied territories of Ukraine, in particular, by the increase of political, diplomatic, and sanctions pressure.

“We note that despite the requirements of UN GA resolution 74/168 and the international community numerous appeals, the Russian Federation once again ignored the UN General Assembly mandate and did not provide the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission with the access to the temporarily occupied Crimean Peninsula,” the Ukrainians declared.

Natalia Tolub

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