UN Human Rights Council 44: Ukraine

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Thank you, Madam Vice-President,

The United Kingdom thanks the High Commissioner for her update and welcomes the 26th report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, based on the work of the Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine.

It is a sign of the utter disregard that Russia shows for the consistent reporting presented to this institution that we must repeat our concerns about its behaviour so regularly.

This is the sixth year of conflict and fighting continues in and around civilian areas of eastern Ukraine. Reports of arbitrary arrests and torture by Russian-backed armed formations are deeply troubling.

We deplore the house raids and arrests of 20 Crimean men in Simferopol in March. We are appalled by the continued reports of arbitrary detention, unfair trials and use of torture in illegally annexed Crimea, and we remain deeply concerned about the welfare of over 70 Ukrainian political prisoners currently held by Russia, particularly Pavlo Hryb and Edem Bekirov, who are in need of urgent medical treatment.

We condemn Russia for failing to comply with UN General Assembly resolution 73/263, and call on the Russian Federation to allow international monitoring organisations access to illegally annexed Crimea and immediately release all political prisoners.

Finally, we commend Ukraine for holding presidential elections in a peaceful and democratic way, while enduring constant Russian aggression.

Madam Deputy-High Commissioner,

What more can the international community do to highlight the increase in mistreatment, house raids and arrests of Crimean Tatars and ethnic minorities in illegally annexed Crimea?

Thank you, Madam Vice-President.

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