UN Human Rights Council, 41st Session
Item 10: Interactive dialogue on the UN High Commissioner’s oral update on Ukraine
10 July 2019
Intervention by ESTONIA
Distinguished High Commissioner,
Estonia fully aligns itself with the statement by the European Union.
We thank the High Commissioner for the update based on the 26th report of the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine (HRMMU). The work OHCHR does is highly important.
Estonia is seriously worried about the rise of the conflict-related civilian casualties and strongly condemns all the violations and abuses of human rights, including attacks on freedoms of opinion and expression, media freedom and freedom of peaceful assembly.
In Crimea, illegally annexed by the Russian Federation, the systematic human rights violations perpetrated by Russia, including acts against Crimean Tatars and all of those who oppose the illegal annexation remain concerning. We condemn the fact that the Russian Federation continues to apply its laws in Crimea in violation of international humanitarian law.
We remain concerned about the denial of access to OHCHR and other independent international monitors to the territories controlled by the armed groups in Luhansk and Donetsk regions. We reiterate our call to the Russian Government, and the armed groups it controls and leads, to stop all violations and abuses of human rights and to ensure full and unimpeded access of Ukrainian and international human rights monitoring missions and human rights NGOs to the whole territory of Ukraine, including Crimea.
Estonia reiterates its call to the Russian Federation to stop the persecution of individuals, including journalists, critical of the Russian authorities and to immediately release all political prisoners and whose, illegally detained in the illegally annexed Crimea and Russia, including Oleh Sentsov. Russia should uphold its obligations as an occupying power in Crimea under International Humanitarian Law and comply with the decision by the International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea to immediately release UA naval vessels and 24 detained UA crew members.
Finally, we welcome the democratic elections and reform process in Ukraine that has continued despite the conflict, and encourage Ukraine to continue with positive steps to improve the human rights situation in the country.