48th session of the UN Human Rights Council
Agenda item 2
Annual report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and reports of the Office of the High Commissioner and the Secretary General
Intervention by the delegation of Ukraine
September 14, 2021
Madam High Commissioner,
Ukraine shares concerns of the High Commissioner and her Office on the continuing deterioration of the human rights situation in many parts of the world.
The upcoming parliamentary elections in the Russian Federation started a new wave of human rights violations. We echo the numerous calls of the High Commissioner and the HRC special procedures to the Russian authorities to end the arbitrary practice of labelling ordinary individuals, journalists, and non-governmental organizations as “extremists”, “foreign agents” or “undesirable organizations», like it was in the case with the Ukrainian World Congress in Russia.
The same repressive methods have been used by the Russian authorities in the run up to the mentioned elections not only on the Russian territory but on the territories of Ukraine, temporarily occupied by Russia – in Crimea and certain areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions. The very fact of organizing such elections on occupied territories constitutes a gross violation of international law.
At the beginning of September, the Russian occupation authorities conducted numerous searches and illegal detentions under trumped-up charges of Ukrainian citizens, mostly Crimean Tatars, including the Deputy Chairman of Mejlis Nariman Dzhelyal. Today 5 people remain behind bars, subjected to torture and ill-treatment. This outrageous case requires immediate attention and strong response from the HRC machinery, which would prove the role and relevance of the Council in making a difference on the ground.
I also wish to draw attention to recent UN Secretary-General report A/76/260 “Situation of human rights in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, Ukraine” submitted pursuant to the UN General Assembly resolution 75/192, that confirms numerous cases of torture, illegal arrests, arbitrary detentions, enforced disappearances, violations of the freedom of religion, expression, and peaceful assembly by the Russian occupation authorities.
We call upon the Russian Federation to comply with its obligations as an occupying Power under IHL and other applicable international law and urge it to bring to an immediate end to all violations and abuses of human rights of residents of Crimea and other occupied Ukrainian territories.
The international community has a legitimate right to urge Russia to live up to the expectations placed on it as a Member of the Human Rights Council.
I thank you.