"We call on the High Commissioner on National Minorities to respond to the plight of people living in the occupied territories of Crimea and Donbas in cooperation with the SMM which monitors the situation there in accordance with its mandate," Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the International Organizations in Vienna Yevhenii Tsymbaliuk said during an online meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council on Thursday, June 4, an Ukrinform correspondent reported.
The Ukrainian diplomat noted that human rights activists and international organizations, including the United Nations, reported that Russia was trying to change the demographics of the occupied Crimea by encouraging its population to move to the occupied peninsula. About 500,000 Russians have moved to Crimea since the beginning of the occupation, while at least 43,000 Crimeans have left the peninsula.
At the same time, Ukrainians and Crimean Tatars living on the peninsula are subjected to systematic repression, serious human rights violations, and discrimination. In particular, the occupying power deprives Crimeans of the right to get education in their native language.
In addition, the occupying authorities continue to actively persecute Crimeans for political reasons - more than 100 Ukrainian citizens, most of whom are Crimean Tatars, have been illegally detained in Russia and the temporarily occupied Crimea.
"The number of violations of the freedom of religion and the right to peaceful assembly has increased significantly over the [past] year. The Russian border guards in the occupied Crimea arbitrarily detain activists who cross the administrative border between Crimea and mainland Ukraine and trying to force Ukrainian citizens to agree to secret cooperation with the Russian authorities," the Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the International Organizations in Vienna said.
He noted that this happened against the background of Russia's disregard for the ICJ’s order on provisional measures to resume the activities of the Mejlis and education in the Ukrainian language in Crimea.
In addition, the Ukrainian ambassador called on the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities to pay attention to the situation in the temporarily occupied territories of Donbas.
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