Political Prisoners in Russia and Occupied-Crimea Forced to Vote
Ukrainians who have been illegally detained in the territory of the Russian Federation and the temporarily occupied Crimea were forced to vote for amendments to the constitution of the occupying state, says Verkhovna Rada (Ukrainian Parliament) Human Rights Commissioner Liudmyla Denisova.
The Ombudsperson shared on Facebook the information she received that administrations of penitentiary facilities had forced Ukrainian political prisoners to participate in an all-Russian vote, since Russian government perceives them as Russian citizens.
At the same time, Denisova noted, psychological pressure was applied against those who initially refused to cast ballots.
“I consider coercion to citizenship another type of repressive policy of the Russian Federation towards citizens of Ukraine under occupation. I urge representatives of international human rights organizations to apply all levers of influence available to force the aggressor state to comply with international humanitarian law and cease repression of citizens of Ukraine, who became victims of occupation,” said Denisova.