KYIV (QHA) -

During the four years of the occupation of the Crimea, the Russian Federation has forcibly expelled 2425 people from the peninsula, among which 1018 are citizens of Ukraine.

The expert of the NGO "Regional Center for Human Rights" Roman Martynovsky provided the corresponding data at a briefing in Ukrainian Crisis Media Centre, the correspondent of QHA reports.

“For the period from July 2014 till May 2018 inclusive for violation of migration rules, "courts" adopted 9,548 decisions. Of this number, 2,425 people were expelled from the Crimea. We are talking about citizens of Ukraine - 1018 persons, as well as citizens of 37 other countries and 4 persons without citizenship," Martynovsky said.

Human rights activists note: the reasons for the expulsion from the Crimea include political motives. According to Martynovsky, the Russian policy of colonization of the Crimea forces the invaders to resort to constant search for ways to cleanse this territory.

In July 2014, a new sweep mechanism was activated, which, first of all, is used by the courts - expulsion for alleged violation of migration rules. After that, the relevant occupation authorities in the Crimea began drawing up protocols and the courts made decisions on the deportation. First of all, for ostensibly violating the migration rules, Ukrainians and Crimean Tatars, disloyal to the occupation, were deported.

Martynovsky recalled the cases of the deported Sinaver Kadyrov, Nedim Khalilov, Konstantin Sizarev.

“Such expulsions are war crimes, they grossly violate article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention. We see here elements of a war crime. Responsibility for such actions is provided for in Article 8 of the Rome Statute. Considering that such expulsion is systemic and massive, it is provided for liability under Article 7 of this charter,” he said.

The human rights defenders recalled that on the basis of these facts in December 2017, the Centre, jointly with the UHHRC and the Prosecutor's Office of the ARC, applied to the International Criminal Court over the expulsion of 1,513 people.

A significant number of citizens are forcibly expelled, which implies placement in migration centers located in the Krasnodar Territory, the Rostov region, RF. Crimea has no such centers. That is, first citizens are moved to the territory of the Russian Federation and only then they are transferred to the authorities of Ukraine.

Deputy Minister of Justice of Ukraine, Commissioner for the European Court of Human Rights Ivan Lishchina said that the Justice Ministry will file a complaint with the ECHR regarding the mass forced expulsion of Ukrainian citizens from the Crimea.

“Under our agreement with human rights defenders, we will deal with the registration of this mass expulsion of citizens. And in the future we will file one more interstate lawsuit against the Russian Federation.”

Later, in a conversation with QHA correspondent, Lishchina clarified that the form of such a complaint to be submitted with the ECHR is being decided: either as a separate interstate lawsuit or as an addition to the "Crimean" case, which is considered by this court.

Reference: in 2017 the puppet authorities of the Crimea decided to expel 25 people from the annexed peninsula and more than 300 foreigners were banned from entering there.

QHA