Statement by Dmytro Kuleba, Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the Council of Europe at 1297th meeting of the Ministers' Deputies
On 14th October, a large number of single pickets took place in Simferopol, Dzhankoy, Gvardeysk, Belogorsk, Feodosiya and other cities of the occupied Crimea. More than one hundred people were reported protesting against the arbitrariness of Russian security forces against the Crimean Tatars. At least 34 persons were detained.
People went to single pickets with posters saying: "Stop the lawlessness of the Crimean law enforcement agencies", "STOP arrests, searches, abductions of Muslims!", "Accusation of terrorism and extremism is the genocide of the Crimean Tatars", and “Muslims are not terrorists”.
I kindly ask you, dear colleagues, to imagine the conditions in Crimea forcing people to protest separately from each other in single pickets in a desperate attempt to be heard and to have their rights protected.
While adopting the decision of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe on Crimea, the deputies “urged the Russian Federation to take all measures necessary to respect human rights in Crimea and to bring an immediate end to all violations of these rights, including the denial of freedom of expression, freedom of peaceful assembly, freedom of religion and belief, discriminatory measures and practices, arbitrary detentions, torture and other cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment, and the repression against persons belonging to minorities, including the Crimean Tatars, as well as Ukrainians and persons belonging to other ethnic and religious groups”.
The protests I am referring to prove that Russia neglects principles enshrined in the basic documents of the Council of Europe, the decisions of its statutory bodies and Russia’s international obligations and commitments.
We stress that the Council of Europe should proceed with the implementation of the Committee of Minister’s decision on Crimea and to protect the population of the peninsula from continued violations of their rights by the occupying power.
In particular, we call upon Secretary General, Commissioner for Human Rights as well as other officials and institutions of the Council of Europe to step up their efforts in this regard.
I thank you, Mr Chairperson.