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Ukraine vs Russia case public hearing held in ECHR Grand Chamber

The ruling on the case will NOT be made on the same day, but at a later stage
16:50, 11 September 2019

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The Grand Chamber of the European Court for Human Rights is hearing the case of Ukraine versus Russia, which is related to Crimea. The recording of the webcast is provided by the ECHR on their official website.

Ukraine was represented by Ivan Lishchyna, the country's Envoy for ECHR Affairs.

The ruling on the case will NOT be made on the same day, but at a later stage.

March 13, ECHR reported that the first session within this case would take place in September; previously, it switched the date, which was supposed to be February 27.

Related: Russia in the Council of Europe: What does it mean for human rights?

Ukraine's lawsuit concerns multiple violations that Russia violated after taking effective control over the Crimean peninsula on February 2014. These measures violate numerous provisions of the Convention for Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms and certain protocols of this Convention.

The original application, Ukraine v. Russia, was lodged on 13 March 2014.

The Ukrainian Government maintains that the Russian Federation has from 27 February 2014 exercised effective control over the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, an integral part of Ukraine, and has exercised jurisdiction over a situation which has resulted in numerous Convention violations. The Government alleges that the violations are a result of general administrative practice by the Russian Federation.

The applicant Government relies on several Articles of the European Convention on Human Rights.

In particular, the applicant Government alleges that there was an administrative practice of the killing of Ukrainian military servicemen, officers of law-enforcement bodies and civilians that were attributable to the Russian Federation.

Furthermore, they allege cases of torture or other forms of ill-treatment and of the arbitrary deprivation of liberty of civilians and Ukrainian servicemen. The Government of Ukraine complains that Ukrainian court judgments were reclassified under Russian legislation and that convicted people were transferred to Russian Federation territory.

Related: Russia in the Council of Europe: What does it mean for human rights?

The applicant Government state that Ukrainian nationals living in Crimea were subjected to the unlawful imposition of automatic Russian citizenship and that a refusal to receive Russian citizenship deprived people of many rights. There were allegedly cases of attacks, abductions, ill-treatment, and harassment of journalists doing their work.

It states in addition that there has been harassment and intimidation of religious ministers who are not members of the Russian Orthodox Church, which has particularly affected Ukrainian Orthodox priests and imams.

Under Article 10, the Government alleges that the work of journalists in Crimea has been interfered with and that non-Russian media were suppressed, while under Article 11 it complains in particular that Crimean Tartars were banned from organizing public gatherings. It further alleges discrimination against Crimean Tatars.

It also complains of expropriation of property by the self-proclaimed authorities of the Crimean Republic, acts that were later approved by Russian legislation. The Government of Ukraine maintains that the new border between Crimea and Ukraine has led to the restriction of Ukrainian nationals’ freedom of movement.

On 13 March 2014, the Court applied Rule 39 of the Rules of Court (interim measures) to this case. It called upon Russia and Ukraine to refrain from measures, in particular, military action, which might bring about violations of the civilian population’s Convention rights, notably under Articles 2 (right to life) and 3 (prohibition of inhuman or degrading treatment). The interim measure remains in force.

Related: There are signs of Russia’s will to leave Donbas, Crimea, - U.S. Charge d'Affairs Taylor

 

Division of the case

To make its processing of the inter-State cases brought by Ukraine against Russia more efficient, the Court decided last year to deal with all the complaints related to events in Crimea in case no. 20958/14, while complaints relating to events in Eastern Ukraine and Donbas were placed under Ukraine v. Russia (V), application no. 8019/16.

On 7 May 2018, the Chamber dealing with these inter-State cases relinquished jurisdiction in favor of the Grand Chamber1.

Ukraine has lodged a number of other inter-State cases against Russia, and there are more than 4,000 individual applications concerning events in Crimea, Eastern Ukraine, and the Donbas region.

Related: Russian FSB detain two Ukrainian at administrative border with Crimea

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