UHHRU in Warsaw. Summary of activities during this year OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meeting

This fall inbetween 20th and 27th of September delegation of the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union and its partners from different Ukrainian NGOs did visited OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meeting with the extensive program of events aimed to attract public attention to the crisis in the conflict and occupied Ukraine.

Delegation included the following partners of the UHHRU:

  1. International Partnership for Human Rights
  2. Center for Information on Human Rights
  3. Center for Civil Liberties
  4. CrimeaSOS
  5. Crimean Tatar Resource Center
  6. Lawyers of the victims of the human rights violations in Crimea and Donbass

Program of specially organized events was mainly consisted of 5 round tables:

Is normal life in Donbas possible? The situation of civilians in the conflict zone in Ukraine

Conveners: Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights (Poland) and German Russian Exchange (Deutsch-Russischer Austausch e.V.). Participants: Luhansk Regional Human Rights

Centre “Alternative”, Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group, Human Rights Centre “Postup”, Eastern-Ukrainian Center for Civic Initiatives

21 September, Wednesday, 18:00, room 3 (tbc)

   Donbas: Surviving hell.

           Conveners: Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights, Center for Civil Liberties, Coalition Justice for Peace in Donbas

Participants: Center for Civil Liberties (Ukraine), Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights (Poland), Coalition Justice for Peace in Donbas,  Kharkiv Human Rights Group, Public organisation “Mirny bereg”, Human Rights Centre “Pouts / Vostok SOS, Eastern-Ukrainian Center for Civic Initiatives, Anti-Discrimination Centre “Memorial”

22 September, Thursday, 08:15, room 2

Freedom of speech and situation of journalists in Crimea

Convener: Human Rights Information Center (Ukraine). Participants: Human Rights Information Center (Ukraine)

23 September, Friday, 18:00, Belvedere room

Persecution of Crimean Tatars as a crime against humanity

Convener: International Partnership for Human Rights and Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union, Participants: SOS-Crimea

27 September, Tuesday, 13:00, Belvedere

       Violation of rights of Crimean Tatars as of indigenous people

Convener: Crimean Tatar Resource Center

27 September, Tuesday, 18:00, Belvedere

Maxim Petro and Boris Zakharov (Advocacy Centre of UHHRU)
Maxim Petrov and Boris Zakharov (Advocacy Center of UHHRU)

Additionally to the specially organized events UHHRU members met with representatives of the Permanent Missions to the OSCE, Ukrainian diplomats in Poland, and OSCE officials.

Among the advocacy meetings the following can be mentioned:

  1. Meeting with  Ambassador of the US to the OSCE Daniel Baer – 20.09.2016
  2. Meeting with Ambassador of Sweden to OSCE  Fredrik Löjdquist – 21.09.2016
  3. Meeting with Ambassador of France to the OSCE Véronique Roger-Lacan – 22.09.2016
  4. Participation in the Plenary session of the OSCE HDIM – 23.09.2016
  5. Meeting with Acting Head of Human Rights Department of ODIHR Omer Fischer – 26.09.2016
  6. Participation in the Annual Meeting of the Civic Solidarity Platform 24-25.09.2016

During the meetings representatives of the UHHRU and partners touched upon the following issues:

  1. War crimes and crimes against humanity in east of Ukraine and Crimea
  2. Situation of hostages in Donbass, enforcedly disappeared in Donbass and Crimea, as well as illegally detained in Crimea
  3. Situation of IDPs and search for the sustainable solutions for them
  4. Developments in the reform of law enforcement and judiciary in Ukraine and necessary improvements
  5. Problems with freedom of expression on the occupied territories

Also, on September 22, the delegation of representatives of Ukrainian NGOs, met Robert Berschinski, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor.

Sasha Delemenchuk
Sasha Delemenchuk

Expert on the international advocacy of the UHHRU – Sasha Delemenchuk repeatedly took the floor at the different working sessions raising different concerns of work of the UHHRU, such as situation in Donbass and Crimea, as well as domestic reforms and situation of IDPs. Advocacy Director of the UHHRU Boris Zakharov gave interview to the Polish Radio.

Central event of the visit was Crimean Evening, which was entirely managed and organized by Advocacy Center of UHHRU. Event was visited by diplomats, heads of delegations, OSCE staff and representatives of the international organisations. Event allowed to attract unprecedented attention of public to the tragic situation in Crimea and human rights violations which take place there.

Photos by Sergiy Myasoedov and Svetlana Valko

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