U.N. reports human rights abuses in Crimea by Russia

Sept. 25 (UPI) — The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on Monday reported that a number of human rights violations have occurred since Russia’s annexation three years ago.

“Grave human rights violations, such as arbitrary arrests and detentions, enforced disappearances, ill-treatment and torture, and at least one extra-judicial execution were documented,” the report, issued Monday, said.

Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014.

The 48-page report cites incidents of starvation and denial of medical care to detainees in prison, intimidation of members of the Tatar ethnic group and a ban on the Jehovah’s Witnesses religious group.

Hundreds of prisoners awaiting trial were sent to Russia for detention, a violation of international law.

Russian citizenship was imposed on all Crimean citizens. Those who formally rejected it, those civil servants who were required to renounce their Ukrainian citizenship to protect their jobs and Crimean residents who did not meet the legal criteria for Russian citizenship were harshly impacted by the annexation, the report said.

“Ukrainian laws were substituted by Russian Federation laws, in violation of the obligation under international humanitarian law to respect the existing law of the occupied territory. Among other implications, this led to the arbitrary implementation of Russian Federation criminal law provisions designed to fight terrorism, extremism and separatism, which have restricted the right to liberty and security of the person and the space for the enjoyment of fundamental freedoms.”

The report recommends that Russia respects its obligations as an occupying power, upholds human rights and investigates alleged torture, abductions and killings by security forces.


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