KIEV (QHA) -

Ukrainian human rights watchdogs Center for Civil Liberties and EvromaydanSOS sent an open letter to Secretary General of the Council of Europe drawing his attention to human rights abuses in occupied Crimea. This was done in response to the report of the special mission headed Ambassador Gérard Stoudmann.

"We have to state that a number of serious issues were omitted in the report of the special mission led by Ambassador Gerard Stoudmann as far as implementation of the European Convention on Human Rights is concerned. The report concludes that ‘repression is mainly directed against certain opponents’, a claim which runs contrary to the reports of international and Ukrainian human rights organizations," the letter says.

The letter cites specific examples of human rights abuses in law enforcement, judiciary and penitentiary systems, abuses of Crimean Tatars’ rights, violations of freedom of religion, expression, assembly and education, providing a number of recommendations for each item.

“The overall situation with human rights and fundamental freedoms in occupied Crimea is rapidly deteriorating, which is why everybody is pinning high expectations on the Council of Europe. We once again reaffirm our commitment to giving full support to the Council of Europe with monitoring the situation with human rights and fundamental freedoms in occupied Crimea, including providing essential documents and contact details. We believe it is very important to ensure that the European Convention on Human Rights and the Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights is used in the monitoring of Crimea as part of Ukraine's territory,” the report says.

It was reported earlier that the main objective of the Council of Europe's human rights mission to Crimea that visited the peninsula on January 25, 2016 was to report human rights abuses, including violations of minorities’ rights, freedom of media and prisoners’ rights.

QHA