GENEVA / UKRAINE HUMAN RIGHTS

25-Sep-2017 00:03:01
The human rights situation in Crimea has significantly deteriorated under Russian occupation, with “multiple and grave violations” committed by Russian state agents, according to a landmark report by the UN Human Rights Office published in Geneva. UNTV CH
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STORY: GENEVA / UKRAINE HUMAN RIGHTS
TRT: 03:01
SOURCE: UNTV CH
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 25 SEPTEMBER, 2017 GENEVA, SWITZERLAND / RECENT
SHOTLIST
RECENT - GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

1. Exterior, Palais des Nations

25 SEPTEMBER, 2017 GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

2. Wide shot, press room
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Fiona Frazer, Head of UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine:
“A key finding of the report is the grave deterioration of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in Crimea over the past three and a half years. This is a direct consequence of the occupation of the Crimean Peninsula, which led to the imposition of the Russian Federation legal framework, as well as the refusal by Russian Federation authorities in Crimea to allow criticism or dissent.”
4. Wide shot, journalists
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Fiona Frazer, Head of UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine:
“We have documented reliable allegations of serious human rights violations and abuses, committed by a paramilitary formation - the Crimean Self-defence - as well as by members of the police and the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation. Most of these violations – which include arbitrary arrest and detention, torture and ill-treatment, and enforced disappearances – have not been effectively investigated by the authorities.”
6. Wide shot, press room
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Fiona Frazer, Head of UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine:
“As a result of the occupation, thousands of Crimean residents who refused to live under Russian Federation jurisdiction left the peninsula for mainland Ukraine. Tens of thousands more became foreigners, and as a result, face significant hardship. They either did not meet the legal conditions to obtain Russian Federation citizenship, or rejected such citizenship. The lack of Russian Federation citizenship limited or prevented their access to employment, health care protection, and property and political rights, with serious consequences.”
8. Med shot, journalists
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Fiona Frazer, Head of UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine:
“The lack of Russian Federation citizenship has also led to deportations – even of Ukrainian citizens who have lived their entire lives in Crimea. The UN Human Rights Office notes that the deportation of citizens of an occupied territory is prohibited under international humanitarian law.”
10. Med shot, cameras
11. SOUNDBITE (English) Fiona Frazer, Head of UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine:
“The report also documented the unlawful transfer of prisoners and pre-trial detainees from facilities in Crimea to penitentiary institution in the Russian Federation. Their treatment is of grave concern. At least three detainees who were transferred from facilities in Crimea to a penal institution in Adygea in the Russian Federation, have died. They were suffering from serious ailments, and did not receive the necessary medical care.”
12. Med shot, journalists
13. SOUNDBITE (English) Fiona Frazer, Head of UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine:
“The introduction of Russian Federation education standards has limited the right of ethnic Ukrainians to receive education in their native language. The number of students instructed in Ukrainian language has dropped dramatically.”
14. Med shot, table
STORYLINE
The human rights situation in Crimea has significantly deteriorated under Russian occupation, with “multiple and grave violations” committed by Russian state agents, according to a landmark report by the UN Human Rights Office published today (25 Sep) in Geneva.

Speaking to journalists in the Swiss city, Fiona Frazer, Head of UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine, said “a key finding of the report is the grave deterioration of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in Crimea over the past three and a half years.”

She added that “this is a direct consequence of the occupation of the Crimean Peninsula, which led to the imposition of the Russian Federation legal framework, as well as the refusal by the Russian Federation authorities in Crimea to allow criticism or dissent.”

Russia occupied Crimea in 2014 and replaced Ukrainian laws with Russian laws, but its annexation has never been internationally recognised. The UN General Assembly ordered the human rights investigation in December 2016. As the Russian Federation did not grant access for the Human Rights investigators to go to Crimea, the report was drafted on the basis of interviews, monitoring and fact-finding missions conducted from mainland Ukraine.

Frazer said “we have documented reliable allegations of serious human rights violations and abuses, committed by a paramilitary formation (the Crimean self-defence), as well as by members of the police and the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation.”

She said “most of these violations – which include arbitrary arrest and detention, torture and ill-treatment, and enforced disappearances – have not been effectively investigated by the authorities.”

The report reiterates that all residents of Crimea were affected when Ukrainian laws were substituted by those of the Russian Federation, and tens of thousands impacted by the imposition of Russian Federation citizenship.

The head of the Monitoring Mission in Ukraine said that “as a result of the occupation, thousands of Crimean residents who refused to live under Russian Federation jurisdiction left the peninsula for mainland Ukraine. Tens of thousands more became foreigners, and as a result, face significant hardship. They either did not meet the legal conditions to obtain Russian Federation citizenship, or rejected such citizenship. The lack of Russian Federation citizenship limited or prevented their access to employment, health care protection, and property and political rights, with serious consequences.”

Hundreds of prisoners and pre-trial detainees have been transferred to the Russian Federation, the report says, despite the practice being strictly prohibited by international humanitarian law.

Frazer said “the lack of Russian Federation citizenship has also led to deportations – even of Ukrainian citizens who have lived their entire lives in Crimea. The UN Human Rights Office notes that the deportation of citizens of an occupied territory is prohibited under international humanitarian law.”

Frazer said “the report documented the unlawful transfer of prisoners and pre-trial detainees from facilities in Crimea to penitentiary institution in the Russian Federation. Their treatment is of grave concern. At least three detainees who were transferred from facilities in Crimea to a penal institution in Adygea in the Russian Federation have died. They were suffering from serious ailments, and did not receive the necessary medical care.”

The report also highlighted the severe impact of judicial and law enforcement changes introduced under Russian occupation which led, according to the report, to the arbitrary implementation of Russian Federation criminal law provisions designed to fight terrorism, extremism and separatism.
Education in the Ukrainian language has almost disappeared from Crimea, highlighting numerous impacts across civil, political, economic and social and cultural rights.

Frazer said that “the introduction of Russian Federation education standards has limited the right of ethnic Ukrainians to receive education in their native language. The number of students instructed in Ukrainian language has dropped dramatically.”

In the 2013-2014 academic year, almost 12,700 students in Crimea received their education in the Ukrainian language. This number fell to 370 of the 2016-2017 academic year.

In addition to the 20 recommendations to Russia, the report also encourages the Government of Ukraine to “use all legal and diplomatic means available to promote and guarantee the Government of Ukraine “to use all legal and diplomatic means available to promote and guarantee the enjoyment of the human rights of residents in Crimea”.
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