In a decision adopted on 15 June 2022 in the light of a report by Council of Europe Secretary General Marija Pejčinović Burić, the CoE Committee of Ministers has condemned human rights violations committed by the Russian occupying “authorities”, against ethnic Ukrainians, Crimean Tatars and other residents of temporarily occupied Crimea.

Report of Secretary General reflects the common negative tendencies in the Crimea and contains the mentions on certain cases such as journalist Vladyslav Yesypenko, activists Amet Suleymanov and Teymur Abdullayev, First Deputy Head of the Mejlis, Nariman Dzhelial.

In report the Secretariat’s attention was drawn to the problem of militarisation of schools and school children in Crimea, Ukraine, by the occupying “authorities”, including the so-called “Yunarmia” (Youth Army) issues. Report reflects the data of Ukrainian Prosecutor’s Office that during 2021 250 persons whose real estate was demolished and 3 702 persons whose land plots were “confiscated”, were identified in the Crimea.

Secretary General stressed in report that since 24 February 2022, Russia has extended its aggression on the mainland of Ukraine and the eruption of large-scale armed hostilities has elevated human rights threats across the country to alarming levels. As the aggression continues, the population in the Ukrainian Crimea, is at even a more serious risk of being deprived from the human rights protection granted by the European Convention on Human Rights and other relevant international mechanisms, report points.

Committee members in their decision expressed their grave concern that Russia has continuously denied safe and unfettered access to Crimea to the Commissioner for Human Rights and to representatives of other established regional and international human rights monitoring mechanisms.

Council of Europe expressed the profound concern that the human rights situation in Crimea has been significantly deteriorating under the Russian temporary occupation with multiple and grave violations of human rights and international humanitarian law that have not been investigated in a prompt and effective manner.

Decision points that these violations, include but are not limited to arbitrary detentions and arrests, illegal searches, premediated murders, enforced disappearances, summary executions, torture, ill-treatment and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, including towards detainees, harassment, intimidation, persecutions, discrimination and undue restrictions on the basis of ethnicity, religion and beliefs, supressing the rights to national identity and culture, illegal transfers of prisoners and pre-trial detainees, a crackdown on dissent, human rights and activists, departure of Crimean residents from the peninsula, forced deportation of Ukrainian citizens from mainland Ukraine to Russia, forceful “conscription” of Ukrainian citizens from Crimea to the Russian army, violations of the rights to property and freedom of movement.

The Committee of Ministers welcomed in decision the Secretary General’s report and her commitment to improving the human rights situation in Crimea, including through participation in the Crimean Platform. Committee members reiterated their strong condemnation of the unprovoked and unjustified armed aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine, which has caused thousands of civilian casualties, displaced millions of people and devastated the hostilities zone.