Interactive Dialogue on the Office of the High Commissioner’s Report on the situation in Ukraine
National Statement by the United States of America
As Delivered by Peter Mulrean, Deputy Permanent Representative
Human Rights Council, 27th Session
Thank you, Mr. Vice-President.
The United States welcomes the Office of the High Commissioner’s report on the situation in Ukraine and appreciates its comprehensiveness in documenting violations and abuses.
We commend the Ukrainian government for its cooperation and support to this mission and encourage this cooperation to continue.
We wish to call attention to the report’s finding that Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine continue to commit abductions, torture, ill treatment, and other serious human rights abuses.
Descriptions of efforts by the separatists to prevent civilians from leaving areas of fighting were particularly disturbing, as were reports that they continue to target journalists through abductions, threats, harassment, and intimidation.
Unacceptable killings continue. While the vast majority of abuses have occurred at the hands of the Russia-backed separatists, we commend the Ukrainian government for its pledge to investigate reports of violations and abuses committed by its side.
It is deeply ironic that after Russia occupied Crimea on a pretext of protecting ethnic minorities, we see a growing number of reports that de facto authorities there are systematically committing abuses against Crimean Tatars and other minorities, and those who oppose its illegal occupation.
We note the report’s finding that no investigation has been opened into the whereabouts of three pro-Ukraine activists who disappeared in Crimea in May.
The de facto authorities in Crimea are imposing repressive laws to persecute those who express dissent. We are concerned by the recent case of blogger Yelizaveta Bohutskaya, who fled Crimea on September 9 after police raided her home and threatened to prosecute her for ‘extremism.’
We would like to conclude by asking the following question: Given that Russia has impeded international efforts to monitor and address the deteriorating human rights situation in Crimea, how can the international community assist the work of the monitoring mission?