Forty-three cases of enforced disappearances documented in Crimea over occupation

Forty-three cases of enforced disappearances documented in Crimea over occupation

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) has documented 43 cases of enforced disappearances in Crimea since the Russian occupation of the peninsula started in 2014.

“Since the beginning of the occupation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, Ukraine, in 2014, OHCHR has documented 43 cases of enforced disappearances in Crimea,” reads the report published by the United Nations Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine on March 31.

As noted, the enforced disappearances mostly took the form of abductions and kidnappings and the victims consisted of 39 men and 4 women.

The first documented enforced disappearance took place on 3 March 2014 and the most recent on 23 May 2018.

The report notes that out of the 43 victims of enforced disappearances, 11 persons (all men) remain missing and one man remains in detention.

“Alleged perpetrators comprised militia groups, such as the Crimean self-defense and Cossack groups; agents of the Russian Federal Security Service; and other law enforcement authorities, including the Crimean police,” the document’s authors emphasize.

According to the Mission, the perpetrators have used torture and ill-treatment to force victims to self-incriminate or testify against others, as well as retaliation for their political affiliation or position.

“No individual has been prosecuted in relation to any of the enforced disappearances, as well as torture and ill-treatment, documented by OHCHR,” the report says.

Russia started the armed aggression against Ukraine on February 20, 2014, by seizing part of Ukraine's territory – the Crimean Peninsula.

On March 16, 2014, the so-called referendum on the status of Crimea was held on the territory of Crimea and Sevastopol. In two days, on March 18, 2014, the so-called agreement on the accession of the Republic of Crimea to the Russian Federation was signed at the Kremlin.

Most UN member states and other international organizations declared the Crimean referendum illegitimate.


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