Russia persecuting ethnic groups in occupied Crimea

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Olena Zerkal. Kiev reporter. News from Ukraine
Olena Zerkal

Russia, as the occupying power in the Crimean peninsula, practices collective punishment of ethnic groups.

“Russia has resorted to collective punishment of the ethnic groups in the illegally occupied Crimea. Unlawful arrests and disappearances are ongoing; Mejlis [the representative and executive body of the Crimean Tatar people] is banned; important cultural gatherings are suppressed; education in the Crimean Tatar and Ukrainian languages is limited; and representatives of media of these persecuted communities are intimidated. These are numerous violations of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination,” Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Olena Zerkal said, presenting Ukraine’s position at the International Court of Justice in The Hague.

Since Crimea was occupied illegally, Russia has launched a large-scale campaign for the cultural destruction of Crimean Tatars and Ukrainians, the deputy minister stated.

Zerkal also noted that Russia’s policy towards Ukraine was a violation of the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism.

“What measures did Russia take? Did Russia prevent financing of terrorists in Ukraine? No, it did not. Did Russia conduct the investigation? No, it did not. Did it help us find criminals? No, it did not. As a result, the MH17 flight was shot down,” she said.

Zerkal emphasized that the true content of the dispute considered by the International Court of Justice was “to interpret and apply the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism (ICSFT) and the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD).”

As reported, on June 3-7, the International Court of Justice in The Hague holds the public hearings over the preliminary objections of Russia in Ukraine v. Russia case over the application of the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism and the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.

Yesterday, June 3, Russia’s representatives tried to prove the lack of jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice for a lawsuit filed by Ukraine.

Russia persecuting ethnic groups in occupied Crimea
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