European Parliament condemns human rights violations in Crimea, Donbas temporarily occupied by Russia
The European Parliament condemns the large-scale and permanent violations of human rights in Crimea temporarily occupied by Russia, and expresses concern about the deteriorating humanitarian situation in eastern Ukraine.
This is discussed in the section "Human rights and fundamental freedoms" of the resolution on Ukraine's implementation of the Association Agreement, voted by the European Parliament during the plenary session. The spokesperson was deputy from the European People's Party Michael Gahler (Germany).
"The European Parliament strongly condemns the large-scale and permanent violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms such as freedom of expression, religion or belief and association, as well as the right to peaceful assembly, perpetrated by the Russian occupying forces in the temporarily occupied territory of Crimea and by the so-called separatist forces in the non-government-controlled areas of Donbas, including forced conscription, deportation, passportisation, restrictions on education rights, arbitrary detention, torture and other harsh detention conditions, as well as restrictive measures such as the unilateral closure of checkpoints and denied access to UN and humanitarian missions, which are particularly worrying during the current pandemic," it said in the resolution.
In addition, the European Parliament is deeply concerned about the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Donbas, which is not controlled by the Ukrainian government, especially amid current coronavirus (COVID-19) emergency.
The European Parliament regrets the worsening human rights situation in Crimea since the beginning of the occupation, as Russia has drastically curtailed the freedoms of assembly, expression, association, access to information and religion since the outset of the occupation.
In addition, the European Parliament took into account the law on supporting the functioning of the Ukrainian language as a national language and asks the Ukrainian authorities to bring the Law in line with international obligations, in particular, with the recommendations of the Venice Commission.
The European Parliament spoke in favor of media reform ensuring the independence, impartiality and accountability of the regulator, transparency in media ownership and equal opportunities for the media with fair competition in the market. The European Parliament also believes that the current draft law on countering disinformation may lead to widespread government interference in the media and journalistic activities to the detriment of media freedom and will not be effective in combating disinformation.
In addition, the European Parliament said with concern that the television media market in Ukraine, although pluralistic, is still characterized by excessive influence of oligarchs and called on Ukraine to develop free and independent media and strengthen media pluralism.
The European Parliament is confident that the EU must continue to support Ukraine in countering hybrid threats and combating disinformation and fake news, including by strengthening independent media and strategic communications in the field of media literacy, in order to increase Ukraine's resilience.
In addition, the European Parliament called on the European External Action Service to promptly put in place a global EU sanctions regime in the field of human rights, which allows the application of sanctions to individuals and companies involved in gross violations of human rights, with particular attention to the situation in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine, Crimea and some parts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions, and sanctions against persons responsible for other crimes, including corruption; the European Parliament invites Ukraine to follow this example and present its Ukrainian version.