Strasbourg Court accepted the position of Ukraine in the case against Russia on violation of human rights in Crimea

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) accepted the legal position of Ukraine in the first case of Ukraine v. Russia, which concerns the violation of human rights in occupied Crimea.

As reported by reporter of the Human Rights Information Centre, this was announced by Pavlo Petrenko, Minister of Justice of Ukraine, during the press conference in Ukrinform on June 1.

Pavlo Petrenko, Minister of Justice of Ukraine

“European Court of Human Rights officially confirmed the adoption of our legal position on the first case of Ukraine v. Russia over the facts of illegal human rights violations in Crimea”, - he said.

“On March 27 we sent a huge package of documents and this legal position, where we refute all positions of the Russian Federation and a week ago the European Court sent a confirmation of the adoption of this legal position”, - he added.

According to him, Russia believes that the ECHR has no jurisdiction to consider the first case of Ukraine v. Russia due to the fact that “referendum” was held in Crimea.

“In the opinion of Russia, the ECHR has no jurisdiction to consider the case, because the country later responded to the will of the “referendum”, - said the Minister.

The Government Commissioner for ECHR Ivan Lishchyna says that Russia recognizes the responsibility for the Autonomous Republic of Crimea from March 21, 2014. But Ukraine insists that Russia seized Crimea starting from February 27, 2014.

“There were a number of human rights violations in this period and Russia is trying to evade responsibility for these violations. There were tortures, unlawful seizures, murders committed by representatives of the Russian Federation”, - said the Government Commissioner.

Ivan Lishchyna: "The real goal of Russia was not to encourage the will of the Crimean residents, but to occupy the peninsula"

“It would seem that the first thing for Russia to do – was to block Ukrainian military units that could actively intervene. However, reality was far from it. The first blockages concerned the Ukrainian air defense forces… Their first task was to separate Crimea from Ukraine, to prevent the mainland Ukrainian military units from entering Crimea and to create conditions for entry of additional troops from the Russian Federation. Those were not attempts to support the democratic will of the Crimean people”, - he added.

The Ministry of Justice expects a procedural decision from the court on the procedure for the consideration of the case – either it will be considered in Strasbourg, or will about 50 witnesses be questioned at visiting sessions in Kyiv.

The minister reported that the evidence that was sent to the ECHR will subsequently be transferred to the International Criminal Court.

Ivan Lishchyna said that Ukraine offered the court to merge all cases on Crimea and Donbas in two separate cases. According to him, the Ukrainian side suggested such actions, since Russia began to abuse with the consideration of cases.

“We will consider this case and this one we will consider later”, - he described the behavior of representatives of Russia in court. Currently, the ECHR is considering the proposal of Kyiv.

As a reminder, Ukraine filed 5 cases against Russia to the European Court of Human Rights. They concern violations of human rights in Crimea during the occupation, illegal removal of orphans to the territory of Russia, massive violations of human rights on the territory of Donbas by Russia and its supporters. By volume, these documents number tens of thousands of documents.

It was earlier reported that Ukrainians had submitted more than 2,000 individual complaints against Russia to the ECHR. Complaints were filed within the framework of the free legal aid system.

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