The press service of Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry states that the institution welcomes the updated resolution on violation of human rights in Crimea by the UN General Assembly. The Ministry believes that de-occupation of Russia-annexed Crimea should become the next step, reads the statement of the Foreign Ministry of Ukraine, published on their official website.
“Massive support of our position in the issue of Crimea indicates that the international society sent a clear signal to the Russian occupation authorities that the problem of Crimea is not yet closed, the world is watching closely the actions of the occupant and thus those guilty of the persecutions and violations of human rights of the Crimean citizens shall bear responsibility. The aggressor state shall stop the abuse of power on the temporarily occupied territory and ensure the international law observed,” reads the message.
As we reported earlier, the UN General Assembly passed the resolution about the situation with human rights observation in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol on December 19. 70 countries said ‘yes’ to the bill, 26 said no, and another 76 abstained.
The resolution strongly condemns human rights violations in Russian-annexed Crimea and refers to Russia as an "occupying power" there.
The resolution, in particular, calls on Russia to fully and immediately comply with the order of the International Court of Justice of April 19, 2017 on provisional measures in the case concerning Application of the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism and of the International Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination (Ukraine v. Russian Federation).
Also, Russia Federation should take all measures necessary to bring an immediate end to all violations and abuses against residents of Crimea, in particular, reported discriminatory measures and practices, arbitrary detentions, torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, and revoke all discriminatory legislation; to respect the laws in force in Ukraine and to repeal laws imposed in Crimea by the Russian Federation that allow for forced evictions and the confiscation of private property in Crimea, in violation of applicable international law.
According to the resolution, the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly also condemns the illegal establishment of laws, jurisdiction and administration in the occupied Crimea and demands that Russia complies with obligations under international law with respect to the laws that operated in the Crimea prior to the occupation.
The document also urges the Russian Federation to revoke immediately the decision declaring the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People an extremist organization and banning its activities, repeal the decision banning leaders of the Mejlis from entering Crimea and refrain from maintaining or imposing limitations on the ability of the Crimean Tatar community to conserve its representative institutions; as well as to ensure the accessibility of education in Ukrainian and Crimean Tatar languages.
In addition, the resolution stresses the need for the immediate release of Ukrainian citizens who were unlawfully detained and judged without regard for elementary standards of justice, as well as those transferred or deported across internationally recognized borders from Crimea to the Russian Federation;
The Third Committee of the UN General Assembly, in its resolution, urges the Russian Federation to ensure proper and unimpeded access of international human rights monitoring missions and human rights non-governmental organizations to Crimea, including all places where persons may be deprived of their liberty, recognizing that the international presence in Crimea is of paramount importance in preventing further deterioration of the situation.
The resolution also calls on Russia to revoke the decisions that banned cultural and religious institutions, NGOs, human rights organizations, media outlets, and to restore enjoyment of the rights of individuals belonging to ethnic communities in Crimea, in particular, Ukrainians and Crimean Tatars, including to engage in cultural gatherings.
The resolution on violations of human rights in Crimea is the third document by the UN on Crimea already.
The first resolution (68/262) was adopted in March 2014 – it confirmed Ukraine’s territorial integrity underlining that the so-called 16 March referendum, which led to the occupation of the Crimean peninsula, “has no legal force”.
The second one (71/205) was adopted a year ago and touched upon human rights in Crimea and in Sevastopol. This year resolution matches the previous one in the name and the topic of the document, however, there are some distinctions between them.
According to the Ukrainian mission in the UN, the most important is that:
- the resolution confirms there is an armed conflict between Ukraine and Russia;
- the resolution condemns the retroactive application of Russian laws to the territory, which Russia illegally annexed in 2014;
- the resolution demands that Russia fulfill the interim decision of the International Court of Justice on the restoration of rights and freedoms for Ukrainian citizens on the peninsula;
- the resolution also appeals to Russia to maintain teaching of the Ukrainian and Crimean Tatar languages in the territory.
- the resolution condemns Russia for failing to provide access to Crimea for the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission;
- the resolution it commends Ukraine for providing unhindered access to Crimea for journalists and human rights activists, and for supporting media and non-governmental organizations that were forced out of Crimea after Russia's takeover.