Our Association presented own submission to the UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism, professor Fionnuala Ní Aoláin on issue of the situation of systematic human rights violation by Russia in the Crimea in the framework of so-called “countering extremism and terrorism”. Such submission was given for the Rapporteur’s forthcoming report for the next UN General Assembly session.

“ARC” pointed to Professor Ní Aoláin that after the occupation of Crimea in 2014, Russia, in violation of the requirements of the IV Geneva Convention, extended the action of its own criminal legislation and legislation on administrative offenses to the occupied territory. This legislation contains the concepts of “countering the extremism” and “countering the ideology of terrorism”. We informed the UN Rapporteur that the accusations of extremism are actively used by the Russia’s “authorities” to persecute dissent, in particular Crimean Tatars and Ukrainians who oppose the occupation, representatives of some religious communities, and other individuals and groups deemed undesirable by the occupiers. The very existence of such a concept as “extremism” and “ideology of terrorism” in the criminal legislation of Russia can be considered a marker of the authoritarian nature of the Russian political regime. As we stressed for the professor Ní Aoláin this concept does not exist in international criminal law and criminal law of democratic countries.

Submission of our Association focused on the complete falsity of the Russia’s “fight against extremism and terrorism” in Crimea. We pointed to the UN Rapporteur that the real risks for the Crimean residents are clearly not related to the members of the pro-Ukrainian civil society structures or religious units, which the case of the “Kerch shooter” has comprehensively proved in 2018. In fact, “ARC” submission pointed that Russia’s “authorities” understand this very well, because they did not spend significant funds on “countering extremism and terrorism” in Crimea, except, of course, for the maintenance of their punitive structures. In those cases when some Russian “budget funds” or grants were allocated for these activities, their immediate “development” was primarily virtual in nature and did not affect anything but the well-being of those “officers” involved, as it was just a form of plundering and laundering the “federal, republican and municipal budget funding”, stressed the “ARC” in own submission.

So we pointed to the UN Rapporteur, that the “policy of countering extremism and terrorism” became the tool of committing the international crimes and in the same time – the ground for common-criminal practices of Russia’s “authorities” in the Crimea. Our Association invited the Rapporteur to visit Ukraine, including Crimea, which would enable UN to make a first-hand impression of the situation in the region.