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Interactive Dialogue with OHCHR’s Ukraine Monitoring Mission
March 22, 2016

Interactive Dialogue with OHCHR’s Ukraine Monitoring Mission

Statement by the Delegation of the United States of America

As Delivered by Jessica Carl

31st Session of the Human Rights Council

March 22, 2016

Geneva, Switzerland


Mr. Vice President,

The United States reaffirms our support for the ongoing work of the High Commissioner’s Office to monitor and report on the situation in Ukraine, and thanks Mr. Simonovic for his update.

We are gravely concerned at the growing number of ceasefire violations along the line of contact in eastern Ukraine, a vast majority of which the OSCE identifies as being committed by combined Russian-separatist forces. These ceasefire violations undermine the implementation of the Minsk Agreements and severely impact the civilian population.

In Russian-occupied Crimea, Ukrainian citizens are subjected to show trials, acts of violence, abductions, and disappearances. Many face detention, physical violence, or disappearance for exercising fundamental rights such as freedom of speech and assembly. We are disturbed by attacks targeting members of the Crimean Tatar population, including the exile of leaders, the shuttering of schools, the closure of its legislature, the banning of independent media, and the murder of activists.

The United States also condemns actions taken by Russian-backed groups in eastern Ukraine, including disappearances, acts of torture, mock executions, and forced labor. Russia and the separatists it backs deny access to international monitors, and local residents have no avenue of redress for human rights abuses.

We call upon Russia to immediately and unconditionally return Ukrainian hostages, including Nadiya Savchenko and Oleh Sentsov. OHCHR must be granted access to the entire territory of Ukraine, including Crimea, to fully carry out its mandate.

We would like to ask the monitoring mission how can we improve monitoring in Crimea and the east, in the face of continued Russian obstruction of their mandate?