Lithuania calls on Russia to immediately release all convicted Ukrainians in occupied territories

Lithuania calls on Russia to immediately release all convicted Ukrainians in occupied territories

Vilnius has called on Moscow to release all Ukrainians convicted in the occupied territories on politically motivated cases and to allow a UN human rights monitoring mission into the occupied Crimea, according to Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis.

He said this during a ministerial panel discussion "International Response to Human Rights Violations in the Temporarily Occupied Crimea, Ukraine," according to an Ukrinform correspondent.

"The international community must continue to put political pressure on Russia so that it fully complies with international human rights standards and guarantees access to Crimea for international monitoring missions," Landsbergis said.

In this context, he noted that Russia constantly rejects the possibility of access to the occupied territory of Crimea for the UN human rights monitoring mission. At the same time, the minister stressed that international organizations such as the UN, the Council of Europe, the OSCE and numerous non-governmental organizations provide clear evidence that Russia is systematically intensifying repression on the occupied peninsula against national minorities, civil activists, human rights defenders, and journalists.

Landsbergis said that Russia used the judiciary for the politically motivated persecution of opponents in Crimea, especially Crimean Tatars.

"Lithuania renews its call [on the Russian authorities] regarding the immediate release of all Ukrainian citizens illegally convicted in Russia, in the occupied Donbas and the illegally annexed Crimea, including human rights defenders in Crimea such as Emir-Usein Kuku, Oleh Prykhodko and all those who were convicted," Landsbergis said.

He stressed that Lithuania places full responsibility on Russia for human rights violations in the occupied territories. Therefore, the international community is obliged to do everything possible to restore basic human rights in the occupied Crimea, he said.

Landsbergis also said that Lithuania invariably considers Crimea to be the territory of Ukraine temporarily occupied by Russia.


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