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‘World Should Be Reminded That For Crimeans Everything Started In 2014’ – Crimea Platform Summit Is Starting In Prague

The human rights defenders who are among the Platform Experts have outlined major issues to be discussed by parliament members from over 70 countries in Prague, before the official start of the 2nd Crimea Platform Parliamentary Summit.

Some of them are crimes committed by the Russian Federation in Crimea prior to February 24, 2022, that, as human rights defenders and lawyers say, may “be overlooked’ by the International Criminal Court, KRYM.Realii states.

“We are risking to appear in the challenging situation when the crimes that Russia committed in Crimea before the full-scale invasion may be ignored. It would be very difficult for the people who suffered therefrom to obtain compensation and justice. The world should be reminded that for Crimeans everything started in 2014”, Mr. Arie Mora, Communications and Advocacy Manager of Ukrainian Legal Advisory Group (ULAG).

Ms. Olha Skrypnyk, Head of Crimean Human Rights Group, reminded that the Russian Federation was now keeping unlawfully 181 political prisoners in Crimea.

“Before the full-scale invasion of the Russian Federation against Ukraine in 2022, at least 116 citizens of Ukraine had been political prisoners of the Kremlin. You should understand that now people are being persecuted there for any pro-Ukrainian position. Even for the Ukrainian songs, as “Oi u luzi chervona kalyna” (Oh, the Red Viburnum in the Meadow), the Ukrainian national anthem, ‘Stephania”, the Ukrainian song presented by Ukraine at the latest Eurovision Contest. And the number of detentions is just growing”, Ms.Olha Skrypnyk, Head of the Crimean Human Rights Group, told the journalists.

The names of all 15 journalists keeping in custody now in the Russian Federation were pronounced at the press conference, including that of Vladyslav Yesypenko, a Krym.Realii freelancer.

On March 10, 2021, Vladyslav Yesypenko, a Krym.Realii freelance journalist, stopped communicating with his relatives – soon it became known that the Russian FSB detained the man, accusing him of “relations with Ukrainian intelligence agencies” and “storage and transportation of ammunition.”

On February 16, 2022, Dlyaver Berberov, a Russian judge in Crimea, sentenced Mr.Yesypenko to 6 years of restraint in the general regime penal colony, and a fine of RUR110,000. The Russian prosecution demanded for him an 11-years’ sentence.

Later, on August 18, 2022, the Russian-controlled Supreme Court of Crimea mitigated Mr.Yesypenko’s sentence to 5 years in the general regime penal colony and a fine of RUR110,000.

Ms.Tetiana Pechonchyk, Chairman of the ZMINA Center for Human Rights, informed that the human rights defenders would insist during the summit on, inter alia, introducing new sanctions against the Russian Federation citizens living in Europe.

“We are very thankful to our European partners for the sanctions against the Russian Federation. We know that Czechia, where the summit is being held, has its own sanction list, and it does not include many names. We have our own proposals on those who could be included there”, Ms.Pechonchyk told the journalists.

The International Coordination Framework – CRIMEA PLATFORM – initiated by Ukraine was launched at the inaugural summit in Kyiv in August 2021. The platform mission is to keep Crimea in the international agenda focus, to defend human rights in Crimea, to support the de-occupation of the peninsula, etc.

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