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UN Human Rights Office criticises situation in Crimea

The UN’s Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) has accused Russia of serious human rights violations on the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea, which was annexed by Russia from Ukraine in 2014.

“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 said.

Presented on Monday in Geneva, the report also found that under Russian rule, the Mejlis, a body representing the interests of the Crimean Tatar minority, has been outlawed.

According to international law, the OHCHR classifies Crimea as a temporarily-occupied territory, which implies that, Ukrainian laws should continue to apply in the region.

“This is contrary to the view in Moscow, which considers Crimea to have become part of Russia and thus governed by Russian laws,’’ it said.

In a list of recommendations, the OHCHR states that Russia should get to the bottom of violent attacks by security agencies, and ensure freedom of assembly and of expression for local residents.

High Commissioner Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said Crimean residents who did not accept a Russian passport should also not be discriminated against.

“The citizenship issue has had a major impact on the lives of many residents of Crimea.

“Persons holding a residency permit and no Russian Federation citizenship do not enjoy equality before the law and are deprived of important rights,’’ he said.

However, Ukraine was also asked to make travel to and from Crimea as easy as possible.



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