Recommendations to Russia to ensure observance of civil and political rights in occupied Crimea

UHHRU jointly with partners would like to share 19 recommendations to the Russian Federation – as an occupying power – concerning the observance of civil and political rights in the territory of occupied Autonomous Republic Crimea and the city of Sevastopol.

To provide clarity, the RF’s government has:

  1. To ensure that Ukrainian sailors are treated in accordance with their prisoners of war status.
  2. To ensure that the persons convicted to deprivation of liberty, who remain in the occupied territory (pre-conflict prisoners), serve their sentence in the territory controlled by the Government of Ukraine.
  3. To stop pressure on the parishioners of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Kyiv Patriarchate. To recognize the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Kyiv Patriarchate (The Orthodox Church of Ukraine) as a legal entity operating in Crimea in accordance with the registration carried out by Ukraine’s authorities. To return confiscated churches to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Kyiv Patriarchate (The Orthodox Church of Ukraine). To refrain from attempts to seize or destroy the cathedrals in the future.
  4. To make it possible for the Ukrainian nationals to enjoy the right of unobstructed residence of unlimited duration in the territory of the Crimean Peninsula.
  5. To terminate the practice of deporting Ukrainian citizens and persons without citizenship from the Crimean Peninsula.
  6. To ensure provision of appropriate medical treatment for imprisoned Ukrainian nationals. To provide for Ukrainian medical personnel’s access to them.
  7. To stop the practice of detainment of Ukrainian convicts by the RF’s authorities, to allow their transfer back to Ukraine.
  8. To ensure investigation of the fact of applying lethal force against Ukrainian sailors captured in the Kerch Strait.
  9. To conduct a thorough investigation into all facts of deaths of persons held in detention facilities in the occupied territory.
  10. To take immediate action for stopping the practice of torture in Crimea, including torture used to pressure, punish or extract confession from detainees, political opponents and activists.
  11. To conduct a thorough investigation of all instances of torture and ill-treatment, and ensure that the perpetrators are brought to justice.
  12. To ensure compliance with international humanitarian law in the administration of justice in Crimea, among other things, by terminating the practice of applying the Russian laws there.
  13. To stop unlawful political persecution of individuals, including persecution for their views and statements in the context of the fact that Crimea belongs to Ukraine.
  14. To put an immediate stop to any form of persecution against independent journalists, civic journalists and particular media outlets, as well as the mass blocking of access to independent media and social networks for the population of Crimea.
  15. To cease the obstruction of the NGOs’ activities and persecution of members of such organizations and initiatives as the Crimean Solidarity. To permit functioning of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People.
  16. Not to hinder the activities of international independent human rights monitors in Crimea, including intergovernmental and inter-state human rights missions authorized to operate in Ukraine.
  17. To ensure the observance and protection of the right to obtain education in one’s native language.
  18. To secure the preservation of the Ukrainian identity, including through the possibility of studying the history and culture of the Ukrainian people.
  19. To put an immediate stop to the mass militarization of children in the occupied peninsula.


The given recommendations are being a part of the “shadow” report of the Ukrainian NGOs to the VIII Periodic Report of the Russian Federation on the implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (in the context of the Covenant’s application in the territory of Crimea). The RF, which is a State Party to this international treaty as well as to its Optional Protocol, has never announced derogation from its obligations, and thus must adhere all of its standards. Unfortunately, this has not been the case during the entire 1960-day-period of Kremlin’s aggression against Ukraine and occupation of the Crimean Peninsula.

This “shadow” report was authored by UHHRU, Crimean Human Rights GroupZMINA Human Rights CenterRegional Center for Human RightsCenter of Civil Education “Almenda”, under support of USAID “Human Rights in Action” Program. 



This analytical product was made possible by the generous support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in the framework of the Human Rights in Action Program implemented by the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union.

USAID is the world’s premier international development agency and a catalytic actor driving development results. USAID’s work demonstrates American generosity, and promotes a path to recipient self-reliance and resilience, and advances U.S. national security and economic prosperity. USAID has partnered with Ukraine since 1992, providing more than $3 billion in assistance. USAID’s current strategic priorities include strengthening democracy and good governance, promoting economic development and energy security, improving health care systems, and mitigating the effects of the conflict in the east.

For additional information about USAID in Ukraine, please call USAID’s Development Outreach and Communications Office at: +38 (044) 521-5753. You may also visit our website: or our Facebook page at

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