Human Rights House Foundation statement
HRC53 – Item 10 – Interactive Dialogue – Ukraine / High Commissioner
12 July 2023
Check against delivery.
Over the last nine years, residents of Crimea, including Crimean Tatars, have been subjected to torture, enforced disappearances, arbitrary detention, extrajudicial punishment, and forced conscription into the Russian military.
Increasingly draconian laws limiting the freedoms of assembly and association, and opinion and expression in Russia continue to be applied in occupied Crimea, and provide the template for treatment of civil society in the newly occupied territories of Ukraine.
At the end of 2022, more than 140 citizens of Ukraine had been arbitrarily detained in Crimea due to politically or religiously motivated criminal prosecution.
We particularly draw the Council’s attention to the ongoing imprisonment of Emir Usein Kuku, a Crimean Tatar human rights defender serving a 20 year sentence, Vladyslav Yesypenko, a freelance journalist serving a six year sentence, and Iryna Danylovich, a Crimean civic journalist and human rights defender currently serving nearly seven years and who has been in urgent need of medical attention, which has so far been denied. All are imprisoned for political reasons, and all should be immediately released and exonerated.
We ask the High Commissioner, whether the OHCHR will continue to work with the International Committee of the Red Cross in pushing for access to Ukrainian civilians who are held in places of detention, particularly in Crimea?