Juridical consultations of Crimean residents from within Crimea:

 

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Statement by Human Rights Organizations Regarding the Illegal Elections to the State Duma of the Russian Federation Held on the Territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol

16 / 09 / 2021

On September 19, 2021, Russian Federation organizes an illegal election to the State Duma of 8th convocation on the territory of the occupied Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol. By doing so, the Russian authorities involve Ukrainian citizens in illegal voting. These elections constitute yet another act of violation of the territorial integrity of Ukraine and go against the Ukrainian and international legal norms. Russian Federation has illegally created four single-mandate districts on the territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol; there are 34 candidates running to represent those districts in the parliament. In addition, 83 candidates are running to represent the occupied Crimea in the federal electoral lists of 14 political parties, which participate in elections by means of a proportionate electoral system.  

From the early days of occupation, Russia implemented its legislation on the territory of Crimea and forced Crimean residents to accept Russian citizenship; both of those actions violated the international humanitarian law. Ukrainian citizens and all other persons who refused to accept Russian citizenship became targets for various sorts of discrimination in the spheres of healthcare, employment, land ownership, and other spheres. That discrimination happened on the sovereign territory of Ukraine. Meanwhile, Russia used its criminal legislation to suppress even the smallest resistance to the occupying authorities. As a result, every year, the number of political prisoners in Crimea grows. A recent example of political repressions in occupied Crimea is the kidnapping and arrest of the deputy head of the Crimean Tatar Mejlis, Nariman Dzhelial, as well as two other Crimean Tatars, Aziz Akhtemov and Asan Akhtemov

This, however, is not a full list of violations of human rights in occupied Crimea. Over 7.5 years, Russia held three all-Russian votings in the occupied peninsula: elections to the State Duma of 7th convocation (September 2016), Russian presidential elections (March 2018), voting on amendments to the Russian Constitution (June-July, 2020). Prior to the voting in the Russian presidential elections and on amendments to the Constitution, there were multiple examples when people received threats of being fired from their jobs if they did not come to vote. Prior to this year’s Russian parliamentary elections, the Russian occupying authorities used administrative pressure to force teachers and parents in the occupied Crimea to vote for the governing party 

In addition, the occupation of Crimea deprived the Ukrainian citizens who live there of their right to participate in elections of the President of Ukraine and Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, as well as elections to the legitimate local state institutions. Twelve mandates of deputies in Verkhovna Rada will remain vacant for as long as the Russian occupation of Crimea lasts. The inability of Crimean residents to participate in Ukrainian elections deprived them of their right to decision-making on a state level. This includes participation in the development of a state policy for the de-occupation of Crimea, which directly influences their lives. 

This year’s Russian parliamentary elections are yet another step that attempts to legitimize the annexation of the Crimean Peninsula and forced the integration of the Crimean population into the Russian authoritarian political system.  

Based on this, we call on the Representative Office of the President of Ukraine to the Autonomous Republic of CrimeaMinistry of Foreign Affairs of UkraineMinistry of Reintegration of Temporary Occupied Territories, Office of the Prosecutor of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol, Main Directorate of National Police of Ukraine in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol to: 

  • Initiate joint statement by participants of the Crimea Platform, which would strongly condemn the illegal voting in the State Duma elections in the occupied Crimea; 
  • Conduct adequate investigation of organization of illegal voting and of administrative pressure against Crimean residents, related to the illegal elections in Crimea; 
  • Avoid any political, economic, or other contacts with persons who will illegally represent occupied Crimea in the State Duma of 8th convocation; 
  • Resist Russia’s attempts to delegate persons, who illegally represent occupied Crimea, to PACE, OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, and other institutions of interparliamentary cooperation; 
  • Initiate personal sanctions against the following categories of people: 

We address foreign states, international organizations, in particular, participants of the Crimea Platform, with a request to: 

  • Condemn the illegal elections to the Russian State Duma held in occupied Crimea, in particular – to issue a joint statement of participants of the Crimea Platform; 
  • Refuse to recognize the legitimacy of persons who were illegally elected in Crimea during the Russian parliamentary elections; 
  • Avoid any political, economic, or other contacts with persons who will illegally represent occupied Crimea in the State Duma of 8th convocation; 
  • Resist Russia’s attempts to delegate persons, who illegally represent occupied Crimea, to PACE, OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, and other institutions of interparliamentary cooperation; 
  • Implement personal sanctions against the following categories of people: 

NGO “CrimeaSOS” 

Association of the Kremlin Political Prisoners’ Relatives 

Center of Civil Liberties 

Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union 

Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group 

The Crimean Human Rights Group 

DIYA Human Rights Centre 

      

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