Updated Version of Resolution on Human Rights in Crimea Adopted at Session of the UN GA Third Committee

The third committee of the 76th session of the UN General Assembly adopted the draft updated resolution ” Situation of human rights in the temporarily occupied Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, Ukraine.”

The draft resolution on the human rights situation in Crimea has been being prepared for the sixth year already. Each year, the document is supplemented with new facts about gross violations of international law and human rights in Crimea by the Russian Federation as an occupying power.

This year, the document also takes into account the proposals of human rights organizations in Ukraine to include new paragraphs in the text of the resolution. In particular, the document calls on Russia to stop groundless 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 Yesypenko, Nariman Dzhelial and others.

“Thanks to the 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 citizens, new names have been introduced into the text of the resolution – along with Server Mustafayev and Umir-Usein Kuku, the text now names Galina Dolgopolaya, Vladislav Yesypenko, Nariman Dzhelial. In general, names are usually not included in such texts, and Ukraine has been striving for the inclusion of new names for several years. Earlier, Oleh Sentsov and Volodymyr Balukh were also in the resolution, but now they are free. Therefore, it is very important for the release of all the prisoners of the Kremlin, “Ms. Olha Skripnik, chairman of the Crimean Human Rights Group board, said.

As the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine emphasizes, the key this year’s innovations have been the status of Crimea as a temporarily occupied peninsula clearly indicated in the resolution title, support for cooperation within the Crimean platform, emphasis on Russia’s responsibility for observing the rights of the Crimean Tatars as an indigenous people of Crimea, the requirement to cancel sentences passed in absentia against leaders of the Crimean Tatar people and Crimean Tatars. It is stressed out that building up the military forces in the temporarily occupied Crimea and numerous 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 draft resolution points out the exclusive responsibility of Russia as an 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 move 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 change in the demographic composition of Crimea. The document condemns the All-Russian Population Census conducted by the Russian Federation, that is recognized as invalid on the territory of Crimea.

The resolution is to become an official UN document after the final vote at the UN General Assembly in December.

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