16:54 25.09.2017

UN OHCHR calls on Russia to stop adjudicating cases opened before Crimea annexation

UN OHCHR calls on Russia to stop adjudicating cases opened before Crimea annexation

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights has called on Russia to stop trying people for alleged crimes committed prior to its occupation of Crimea and to stop using torture, as well as punitive psychiatry.

"End the practice of retroactive application of penal laws to acts committed before the occupation of Crimea, and refrain from using law enforcement bodies and the justice system to pressure and intimidate opponents," says its report to Russian authorities. The brief covers UNCHR's report covering from February 22 to September 12, 2017.

The report calls on Russia to observe human rights of all people living in Crimea and to fulfill obligations of the occupying state with regard to international humanitarian law, as well as enable unimpeded freedom of movement to and from Crimea, and end deportations of Crimean residents and their draft into the armed forces.

The report also calls on Russia to ensure access of all Crimean residents, including those without Russian Federation passports, to employment, health treatment, property and public services.

Russian authorities are also recommended to ensure proper and unimpeded access of international human rights monitoring missions and human rights non-governmental organizations to Crimea, pursuant to General Assembly resolution 71/205.

"Apply Ukrainian laws in Crimea, pursuant to General Assembly resolutions 68/262 and 71/205," the report says.

The UNCHR calls Russia to ensure independent and impartial administration of justice, and to defend the right of lawyers to conduct their professional activities in an environment free from harassment and interference.

The report also calls on Russian authorities to end the practice of extracting confessions of guilt from persons in detention through threats, torture, or ill-treatment, and refrain from practices such as forcible psychiatric hospitalization, which may amount to ill-treatment.

Russia is also called upon to ensure adequate medical assistance to all individuals detained in penitentiary institutions irrespective of their citizenship or any other grounds.

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