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U.S. Statement at the Universal Periodic Review of Ukraine
November 15, 2017

As delivered by Jesse Bernstein
Delegation of the United States of America

28th Session,
Geneva, November 15, 2017

Thank you Mr. Vice President.

The United States welcomes Ukraine’s delegation to the UPR Working Group.

We commend Ukraine’s reform efforts since 2014, undertaken as the country has suffered greatly from acts of Russian aggression.  However, further reforms are needed, particularly to root out corruption from Ukraine’s judicial system.

We are appalled by the human rights situation in Russian-occupied Crimea and in the Russia-led forces-controlled Donbas, where extrajudicial killings, abductions, torture, and unlawful detention occur with impunity.

While we recognize threats posed by Russian malign influence campaigns, we are concerned by the human rights implications of certain steps taken to counter this influence, such as new reporting requirements for NGOs and internet censorship.

We recommend that Ukraine:

  1. Establish an impartial judicial system, including by: establishing an anti-corruption court; empowering anti-corruption institutions such as the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine and eliminate the potential for political use of the judiciary and prosecutor general’s office.
  2. Coordinate with international experts to conduct a review of recent legislation and decrees concerning the media and civil society, to determine whether these measures are consistent with Ukraine’s international obligations.
  3. Support efforts to prevent human rights abuses in Crimea and the Donbas by facilitating access for monitors, human rights defenders, journalists, and lawyers and investigate thoroughly credible allegations of abuses by Ukrainian forces, and use all appropriate methods to promote accountability for abuses.

Thank you Mr. Vice President.