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Council of Europe: repeated, serious breaches of human rights in Crimea. Observers cannot get into the Ukrainian region annexed to Russia

“Under temporary Russian occupation, the situation of human rights in Crimea has got remarkably worse. Many serious breaches of human rights and international humanitarian law have not been timely and effectively investigated”. This is said in a document, approved by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, in the light of what the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Marija Pejčinović Burić, had mentioned in her periodical report, published on May 4th. In addition to denouncing what is happening in that part of the region that has been illegally annexed to the Russian Federation, there is “deep concern” because Russia has always denied the Commissioner for Human Rights and the delegates of other monitoring mechanisms access to Crimea. So, the Committee asks the Secretary General to “take all the measures needed, including talks with all the parties concerned”, to allow the Council’s appointed agencies to visit Crimea. Obviously, the document insists on the “firm condemnation of the Russian Federation’s unprovoked and unjustified armed aggression of Ukraine”, calls on the invader to “withdraw all its military forces and its weapons” from the invaded country, and to “get constructively involved in peace talks aimed at reinstating the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally-recognised borders”. In addition, the Committee asks to release “all those who have been illegally detained” and to repeal the decision to ban the Mejlis, the Crimean Tatars’ representative body, as an extremist organisation.

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