CoE Commissioner reports numerous violations of rights of Crimean Tatars on occupied peninsula

CoE Commissioner reports numerous violations of rights of Crimean Tatars on occupied peninsula

Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe Dunja Mijatović released a report on the human rights situation of Crimean Tatars in Ukraine’s Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, temporarily occupied by Russia.

This is reported on the website of the Council of Europe.

“Crimean Tatars in Crimea, and especially those opposing Crimea’s illegal annexation or expressing dissent, are being subjected to numerous patterns of serious violations of human rights, persecution, discrimination, and stigmatisation by the Russian occupying authorities,” Mijatović said.

The report focuses on multiple patterns of violations of human rights committed against Crimean Tatars throughout their history, especially following the occupation and illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014 by the Russian Federation and Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

“Crimean Tatars have been exposed to a never-ending string of human rights violations and unfairly cast out of their ancestral homeland many times in the course of their troubled history. They have suffered enough,” Mijatović stressed.

The Commissioner reiterated her call for the persecution of Crimean Tatars to stop and for an immediate end to all arbitrary arrests, harassment, and searches of homes of Crimean Tatar human rights defenders, activists, leaders, and journalists, as well as ordinary members of the group.

Mijatović called for the humane treatment of all those held in detention in Crimea and of Crimean detainees held in detention centres in Russia. “International human rights monitoring mechanisms and humanitarian organisations should be given safe and unhindered access to all detainees, including Crimean Tatars”, she said.

The Commissioner underscored that all Crimean Tatars, including human rights defenders, activists, and journalists, should enjoy their freedom of assembly and expression without fear of reprisals, should be able to practice their religion in public or private, to receive education in the Crimean Tatar language, and to preserve their cultural heritage. As media freedom has been heavily restricted by Russian occupying authorities in Crimea, the Commissioner encouraged the Ukrainian authorities to ensure that Crimean Tatar TV and radio outlets that remain active in mainland Ukraine are provided with adequate and sustainable support.

In her report, the Commissioner also called for putting an end to the forced conscription and military mobilisation of Crimean Tatars in the occupied Crimea.

Mijatović also called for the fate and whereabouts of the persons gone missing since the occupation of the peninsula in 2014 to be clarified in prompt, effective, and adequate investigations.

Photo: Central Museum of Tavryda

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