ARC publishes detailed report: Human rights violations in Crimea and international monitoring mechanisms

Publications
Canan Kevser
22 March 2021, 19:45
Canan Kevser
22 March 2021, 19:45

An expert from the Association of Reintegration of Crimea (ARC) Dr Borys Babin published a report on "Human Rights Violations in Crimea and Universal Monitoring Mechanisms" on March 19.

According to the statement, ARC prepared the article by paying "great attention" to the reports published by the UN Monitoring Mission and OSCE Monitoring Mission in Ukraine.

Discrimination

Association described the nexus between forced displacement and contemporary forms of slavery according to the report of UN Special Rapporteur Dr Tomoya Obokata, which will be presented during the 48th session of the Human Rights Council.

"We pointed that the policy of Russian de-facto authorities in Crimea includes discrimination of the citizens of Ukraine in Crimea who refused or could not get the so-called 'Russian citizenship' after 2014, when the Russian Federation declared Crimean peninsula as allegedly 'own territory.' Such Ukrainian citizens resided in Crimea before the attempted annexation or resettled to the peninsula later due to Russian aggression on the East of Ukraine and the ongoing armed conflict there. Russian de-facto authorities described these Ukrainian citizens in Crimea as 'foreigners', who have to get the 'residence permits' and the 'special permit' to work. But in reality, thousands of these people are not able to get the 'residence' and the 'special permit' in Crimea, due to the system of total corruption, bureaucracy and politic position of the Russian de-facto authorities in the region," reads the report.

Deportation

It added that in 2020, the so-called “courts” in Crimea issued deportation and forcible transfer orders against at least 178 individuals considered “foreigners” under Russia's immigration law, including 105 Ukrainian citizens (93 men and 12 women).

According to the report, in 2019, more than 360 people were deported from Crimea, mainly from Simferopol, Sevastopol and the Southern Coast of Crimea, as a part of the Russian de-facto authorities' deliberate policy to “squeeze out” the population that undesirable for them. Cases opened by so-called “courts” in Crimea are used by Russian state propaganda, for its hate speech activities against Ukraine, Ukrainians and citizens of Ukraine.

Humiliation

"In February 2018, Russia’s official edition 'Rossiyskaya Gazeta', published by the Government of Russia, published the article '23 Ukrainian Gastarbeiters Were Deported from Crimea.' Even the term 'Gastarbeiter, used before exclusively by the Nazi regime in Germany, shows by itself the real relation of Russian de-facto authorities to the Ukrainian citizens’ labour rights."

The ARC noted that separating Ukrainian citizens from their families in Crimea violates the right to respect for private and family life.

Chemical pollution

The Association touched upon the science-policy interface regarding the risks associated with the life cycle of hazardous substances and wastes; in particular, chemical pollution in the Northern Crimea released by the chemistry plant "Crimean TITAN" which produces titanium dioxide. The experts took into account reports of Dr Marcos A. Orellana, the United Nations Rapporteur who specialized in law on human rights and the environment.

"Areas near the 'TITAN' plant, namely Kalanchak and Chaplynka districts of Kherson Region in Ukraine, also as Armyansk and Krasnoperekopsk towns in Northern Crimea, were (first reportedly) on 23 August 2018 hit by a noxious sulphur dioxide gas allegedly coming from the water reservoir of the plant. More than four thousands of children were evacuated by Russian de-facto authorities from Armyansk and Ukrainian authorities claimed that by September 2018, dozens of people had sought medical assistance in mainland Ukraine. But the plant was not evacuated and it continues to pollute the environment, without the reaction of the Russian de-facto authorities in the Crimea."

Hate Speech

The article also emphasised that hate speech against Ukraine, Ukrainians, and the indigenous Crimean Tatar people, just as against representatives of all other ethnic groups except Russians became a pattern. Thus, no alternative opinions are tolerated, and those who express a dissident opinion are subjected to harassment and persecution.

Inadequate infrastructure

The ARC said that Simferopol city became a destination for most Russian citizens illegally resettled by the de facto Russian authorities to Crimea, including military officers, officials, servicemen, and their families. "The city’s population increased from 300 thousand in 2014 to 500 thousand in 2020, and it continues to grow," it reported.

"Yet, the infrastructure of Simferopol, including its water and sanitation systems, road network, schools, kindergartens, hospitals etc. does not satisfy the needs of its half-million residents. In 2020-2021, the deficiencies in the city and regional management of the Russian de facto authorities caused the systematic water crisis in Simferopol and other localities of Crimean Tatars’ urbanized settlements. Furthermore, chaotic construction of residential and non-residential buildings by the Russian commercial structures associated with the de facto authorities, accompanied by a failure to comply with any imaginable architectural and safety standards, ruins the unique landscapes and creates risks for the residents of Crimean cities."

Fake narratives

The expert from the ARC warned about the possible risk that the "negative impact of the unilateral coercive measures on the enjoyment of human rights" may be used by Russia for its fake narrative dissemination to weaken the civilized nations’ sanction policy related to Crimea.