risu.org.ua - Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the UN Office and other International Organizations in Geneva Yuri Klymenko urged the UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief Ahmed Shaheed to find a way to get access to the territory occupied by Russia in the Crimea and to assess the situation there with freedom of religion and belief.
We welcome conducting this dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief and Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence; may I turn to the report of Mr. Ahmed Shaheed.
We fully agree that the individuals, not religions, convictions, belief systems or truth claims, are the right-holders of the right to freedom of religion or belief.
The individuals belonging to minority Christian communities on the territories controlled by the Russian-backed illegal armed groups in eastern Ukraine continuously face restrictions and threats based on their beliefs by those groups.
The members of Crimean Tatars are individuals, whose rights to many freedoms including the freedom of religion are being violated by the Russian occupying authorities of the Crimean peninsula. They are subjected to abuse, discrimination, harassment, intimidation in particular based on their religion.
Having in mind that constant presence of the international monitoring organizations including the UN human rights mechanisms in the peninsula will help to make the occupying authorities respect their obligations under international law, and sharing your view, Mr. Shaheed, that HRC special procedures are most effective when they operate as a cohesive system, we call on you to seek ways and means to ensure access to Crimea – either individual or collective – in order to estimate the situation.