HRC50: Item 10 – Interactive Dialogue – Ukraine

HRHF video statement

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Thank you.

Occupied Crimea provides a longer-term illustration of what happens to human rights in territories that Russia occupies and illegally tries to annex. The situation has been dire in Crimea for eight years and it only gets worse.

Even prior to Russia’s renewed invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, Ukrainian and international human rights organisations reported severe violations of human rights in occupied Crimea.

Since Russia unleashed its full-scale military invasion of Ukraine in February, the human rights situation has deteriorated drastically.

For the first time since 2016, the practice of enforced disappearances have returned. Unprecedented pressure has been exerted on independent lawyers as well as serious human rights violations committed against journalists and human rights activists.

In its latest report, the UN Monitoring Mission states that “the legitimate activities of human rights defenders were obstructed by arrests, prosecution, and the blocking of access to websites of human rights NGOs.”

Of the many people unjustly detained or imprisoned in Crimea, we particularly highlight the cases of the journalist Vladyslav Yesypenko, First Deputy Head of the Mejlis, Nariman Dzhelial, as well as brothers Asan and Aziz Akhtemov, and call for their immediate release.

We ask the Deputy High Commissioner, how can we better support victims of serious human rights violations in Crimea, including their families and lawyers?

Thank you.

Top image: Unjustly detained in occupied Crimea – Vladyslav Yesypenko, Aziz Akhtemov, Nariman Dzhelial, Asan Akhtemov.