BREAKING NEWS: UN Human Rights Monitoring Team issues May 16 report on alarming deterioration of the human rights situation in eastern Ukraine and Crimea


[notice noticeType=”info”] Photo: At UN Headquarters in New York, the deteriorating situation in Ukraine and Crimea has been discussed many times during Security Council meetings, press briefings, and the thirteenth session of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues which will end on May 23. Shown here on the far right is Ayla Atali, representative of the Tatar Community of Ukraine who is seated next to Yuriy Sergeyev, Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the United Nations in New York. Also shown on the far left is Rabbi Yaakov Dov Bleich, President of the Jewish Confederation of Ukraine, and next to him, is pictured on March 14, Tamara Gallo, Executive Director, Ukrainian Congress Committee of America. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe[/notice]


The UN report released on May 16 documented an” alarming deterioration of the human rights situation in eastern Ukraine, including serious problems emerging in Crimea, citing numerous examples of targeted killings, torture and beatings, abductions, intimidation, and some cases of sexual harassment committed mostly by anti-government groups. “

The 36-page report compiled by the 34 member monitoring team in Ukraine was the second report to be produced by the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission based in five Ukrainian cities, and covers the period from April 2 to May 6. In addition, the report notes “numerous difficulties arising from the fact that the legislation of the Russian Federation is being enforced on the territory of Crimea which is creating difficulties for Crimean residents given the many differences with Ukrainian law.”

Following the release of the report, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pilay, called on ”those with influence on the armed groups responsible for much of the violence in Eastern Ukraine to do their utmost to rein in those men who seem bent on tearing the country apart.”

The report highlights a number of other emerging problems in Crimea, especially in relation to the Crimean Tatars and minorities, including “ alarming developments surrounding the Issue of citizenship, the freedom of movement of their leaders, cases of physical harassment, restrictions on Crimean Tatar media, and fears of religious persecution of those who are practicing Muslims. Already, more than 7,200 people from Crimea, mostly Tatars, have become internally displaced in other areas of Ukraine.”

Another example given in this report, concerns the “ halting on May 6 of the opioid substitution therapy programme that had been available to HIV/AIDS patients in Crimea, as well as the
rest of Ukraine.“ The report said that” the majority of former OST patients now face deterioration in their health condition due to the fact that the treatment had been curtailed.”

Ann Charles
Ann Charles is UN Bureau Chief of "Baltic Review" based in New York City. She covers diplomatic activities at United Nations Headquarters in New York and the world body's work in human rights, education, culture, the environment, and tourism, among other global concerns.

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