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Joint Statement on Violations of the Rights of Crimean Tatars and Other Minorities in Crimea
September 24, 2014

Human Rights Council 27th Session
Geneva, September 24, 2014
Item 10 ID on the HC report on Ukraine
Joint Statement
Delivered by Peter Mulrean, Deputy Permanent Representative, Delegation of the United States of America


Thank you, Mr. Vice-President. I am pleased to deliver this joint statement on behalf of 25 States: Albania, Australia, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

We remain concerned by reports of violations of the rights of Crimean Tatars and members of other minorities in Crimea.

We are deeply concerned by reports that de facto authorities in Russia-occupied Crimea are systematically committing abuses against native Crimean Tatars, other religious and ethnic minorities, and those who oppose the occupation.

Raids on Tatar homes and mosques, prosecutions of Tatars for possessing so-called “extremist” literature, pressure on Tatar NGOs and publications, and the recent raids against the Crimean Tatar Mejlis are just the latest in a series of human rights violations that raise concerns about dramatically deteriorating conditions for minority populations.

De facto authorities in Crimea have also banned respected Ukrainian parliamentarian and former leader of the Crimean Tatar Mejlis, Mustafa Dzhemilev, and current head of the Mejlis, Refat Chubarov.  We condemn this baseless five year ban of these officials from Crimea, their homeland.

This interference with elected officials and civil society also further undermines democracy in Crimea.  The illegal referendum held in Crimea on 16 March was neither free, nor fair.  As acknowledged in the United Nation’s report of 15 April, there was widespread vote rigging and a policy to exclude voters from minority groups.

There has also been an increase in violence against Jews and members of other religious minorities in Crimea since the Russian occupation began. Following threats of violence, the Chief Reform Rabbi and numerous Ukrainian Orthodox Clergy were forced to flee the peninsula.  Ukrainian Greek Catholic Clergy have also been subjected to harassment and surveillance by de facto authorities in Crimea. We are concerned over the increase of hate crimes, including physical violence and vandalism, against Jehovah’s Witnesses and their houses of worship in Crimea.

We also note with concern that de facto authorities in Russia-occupied Crimea are requiring a new registration for all religious organizations in Crimea, including more than 1,500 previously registered with the Ukrainian government.

We call on Russia to cease its repressive actions towards these communities and to end its illegal purported annexation of Crimea, and we encourage all parties to cooperate with the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine (HRMMU) and give it access throughout all regions of the country, including Crimea.

Thank you.