UNESCO notes worsening of human rights situation in Crimea due to Russian occupation
UNESCO representatives have stated that the situation with human rights and freedoms in Russia-annexed Crimea is continuing to deteriorate, the press service of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry reported on Thursday, September 21.
According to the report, these issues were considered at a meeting at UNESCO headquarters chaired by UNESCO Assistant Director-General Eric Falt.
OHCHR Human Rights Adviser at UN Office in Ukraine Marc Bojanic provided concrete facts of human rights violations and harassment of national minorities, freedom of religion, freedom of the press and expression, security of journalists, and access to education in their native language in Crimea.
Ukraine's permanent representative to UNESCO Oleh Shamshur, in turn, drew attention to the strengthening of the trend towards suppressing democracy by the Russian occupation authorities in Crimea and Sevastopol, as well as violation of the rights of Ukrainians and Crimean Tatars in the sphere of education, culture and freedom of expression.
Falt confirmed UNESCO's consistent support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine. He said that the organization's secretariat, in cooperation with Ukraine, had reached the final stage of consultations on working out the parameters of the mechanism for direct monitoring of the situation in the Crimea in the fields of UNESCO's competence.
According to the ministry, the meeting was attended by 120 accredited representatives of permanent missions of the organization's member countries and institutional partners. The meeting was held in pursuance of the decisions of the 194-201 sessions of the UNESCO Executive Board "Follow-up of the situation in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea (Ukraine)." The report by the UNESCO director general on this issue will be considered during the 202nd session of the UNESCO Executive Board in Paris on October 4-18.