HRC 47th session Intervention by Estonia in the ID with the HC on Ukraine 9 July 2021

Madame President,

Estonia thanks the High Commissioner and the Secretary-General for their reports and aligns with the statement delivered by the European Union.

Arbitrary detention, torture and ill-treatment in the occupied territories of eastern Ukraine have become part of the daily life over the past 7 years. The impunity of perpetrators, whose behaviour is justified and even encouraged by the local illegal authorities, has created the persisting climate of fear. As a result, the citizens’ initiatives and opportunities to express their views and defend the basic human rights have been completely suppressed.

The most vulnerable – women, children and adolescents -, continue to be disproportionately affected by the conflict. The reports of constant and increasing sexual violence are very alarming. The continuing increase in the number of casualties, including the loss among civilians and children, is very sad, distressing and unacceptable.

The heavy militarization of the occupied Crimea goes hand in hand with the significant deterioration of human rights and the shrinking civil rights of the people living on the peninsula. Violations of the autonomous, cultural, but also political and human rights of the indigenous peoples of Crimea, in particular the Crimean Tatars, are systematic and brutal. Prisoners of conscience detained by Russia in the illegally annexed areas must be released immediately.

Madame High Commissioner,

What further steps are planned to ensure better and safer access for international human rights defenders and rapporteurs to the occupied territories, not controlled by Ukrainian authorities

Thank you.