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Ref. DC 066(2016)

Crimea must be re-opened to regular Council of Europe monitoring to safeguard the human rights of 2.5 million people

Strasbourg, 14.04.2016 - Ambassador Stoudmann presented on 13 April to the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe the report on his recent human rights visit to Crimea.

The report is a result of a visit by a Council of Europe delegation sent by Secretary General Jagland to Crimea after 18 months during which there was no international presence of international organisations on the Peninsula.

Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Thorbjørn Jagland, who initiated the assessment, stated: “The Council of Europe mandate is to protect individuals wherever they are located on our Continent, under whatever circumstances. I hope the report will constitute a basis for fruitful discussions on what the Council of Europe can do for people in Crimea”.

The main findings of the report can be found in its executive summary.

Presenting the report which is a result of his seven-day visit to Crimea, Ambassador Stoudmann, a prominent Swiss diplomat, stated that “the main overriding conclusion of this report is the need to re-open the Peninsula for the Council of Europe monitoring structures and other relevant international mechanisms, and to identify viable solutions, allowing for their effective functioning under the present circumstances.” He further stressed that “it is neither normal, nor acceptable, that a population of 2.5 million people should be kept beyond the reach of the human rights mechanisms established to protect all Europeans.”

The report assesses the human rights situation in Crimea, particularly addressing the following areas on the basis of the standards set forth by the European Convention on Human Rights: freedom of assembly, freedom of expression, situation of the free media, minority rights, right to a fair trial, allegations of human rights violations and disappearances, and others. The report particularly focuses on the situation of the Crimean Tatar community.

Secretary General Jagland announced the decision to send Ambassador Stoudmann on a human rights visit on 20 January 2016, following requests from the Committee of Ministers and member States, as well as political consultations with the governments of Ukraine and the Russian Federation. The delegation was in Crimea from the 25th to the 31st of January; it did not deal with any issue related to the status of Crimea.

Contacts: Tatiana Baeva, Spokesperson/Media officer, +33 685 11 64 93