UN GA Adopted Resolution on Human Rights in Occupied Crimea

The UN General Assembly adopted an updated resolution “Situation of human rights in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, Ukraine”.

65 member states voted for, 25 – against, and 85 abstained.

Countries that voted against the resolution: the Russian Federation, Armenia, Belarus, Burundi, Cambodia, China, Cuba, DPRK, Eritrea, Ethiopia, India, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mali, Nicaragua, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Syria, Sri Lanka, Venezuela, Zimbabwe.

This is the sixth resolution on the human rights situation in Crimea. The document presents new facts about gross violations of international law and human rights in Crimea by the Russian Federation as occupying power. The document highlights that the bodies and officials of the Russian Federation acting in the temporarily occupied Crimea are illegitimate and should be called “the occupying authorities of the Russian Federation”.

This year’s document also takes into account the proposals of Ukrainian human rights organizations on including new paragraphs in the text of the resolution. In particular, in autumn of 2021 the human rights defenders met with more than 20 missions of countries to the UN, seeking for a support of a new draft resolution.

The document calls on Russia to stop baseless detentions and arrests of Crimean residents, demands the release of illegally detained citizens of Ukraine, in particular, Emir-Usein Kuku, Galina Dolgopolaya, Server Mustafayev, Vladislav Yesipenko, Nariman Dzhelial and others.

“Thanks to joint efforts of human rights defenders, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, our foreign partners and everyone who is not indifferent to the fate of our people, new names have been introduced into the resolution text – and now, one can find the names of Galina Dolgopolaya, Vladislav Yesipenko, Nariman Dzhelial, next to Server Mustafayev and Umir-Usein Kuku. In general, such resolutions do not mention names of persons, but this is not the first year when Ukraine has succeeded in including new names. Earlier, Oleg Sentsov and Volodya Balukh were also in the resolution, but now they are free. Thus this is very important for the release of all the prisoners of the Kremlin,” Ms.Olha Skrypnyk, Chairman of the Board of the Crimean Human Rights Group, stressed out.

The resolution calls on the UN countries to cooperate within the framework of the international Crimea Platform.

In addition, the document emphasizes the responsibility of Russia for respecting the rights of the Crimean Tatars as the indigenous people of Crimea, the requirement to cancel the sentences passed in absentia against the leaders of the Crimean Tatar people and the Crimean Tatars. It is pointed out that the build-up of military forces in the temporarily occupied Crimea and numerous military exercises of the Russian armed forces entail significant long-term negative consequences in the region, in particular, make it difficult to ensure the fundamental rights of the civilian population.

The resolution highlights the exclusive responsibility of Russia as occupying power in providing the residents of Crimea with drinking and fresh water.

The document condemns the illegal actions of the Russian Federation to destroy or transfer the cultural and natural values of Ukraine located in Crimea. The international community states that the goal is to deliberately erase the Ukrainian and Crimean Tatar cultural identity in the ethnocultural landscape of the peninsula.

Russia is urged to end the policy of forced changes in the demographic composition of Crimea. The document condemns the All-Russian Population Census conducted by the Russian Federation, which is recognized as invalid in the territory of Crimea.

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