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MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on the Ukrainian political prisoners in Russia and situation in Crimea

14.3.2017 - (2017/2596(RSP))

with request for inclusion in the agenda for a debate on cases of breaches of human rights, democracy and the rule of law
pursuant to Rule 135 of the Rules of Procedure

Cristian Dan Preda, Tunne Kelam, Tomáš Zdechovský, Jaromír Štětina, Marijana Petir, Jarosław Wałęsa, Pavel Svoboda, Ivan Štefanec, Milan Zver, Brian Hayes, David McAllister, Eduard Kukan, Bogdan Brunon Wenta, Laima Liucija Andrikienė, József Nagy, Michaela Šojdrová, Roberta Metsola, Romana Tomc, Patricija Šulin, Maurice Ponga, Sven Schulze, Csaba Sógor, Željana Zovko, Ivana Maletić, Stanislav Polčák, Deirdre Clune, Luděk Niedermayer, Giovanni La Via, Claude Rolin, Adam Szejnfeld, Lorenzo Cesa, Jiří Pospíšil, Jerzy Buzek, Ramón Luis Valcárcel Siso, Anna Maria Corazza Bildt, Elżbieta Katarzyna Łukacijewska, Bogdan Andrzej Zdrojewski, Therese Comodini Cachia, Andrey Kovatchev, Inese Vaidere, Dubravka Šuica, Sandra Kalniete on behalf of the PPE Group

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B8-0190/2017

Procedūra : 2017/2596(RSP)
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European Parliament resolution on the Ukrainian political prisoners in Russia and situation in Crimea


The European Parliament,

-having regard to the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement and the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area,

-having regard to its previous resolutions on Ukraine and on Crimea, on the European Neighbourhood Policy, on the Eastern Partnership and in particular its resolutions of 4th February and 12th may 2016 on the human rights situation in Crimea and on the Tatars,

-having regard to the Minsk Protocol of 5 September 2014 and the Minsk Memorandum of 19 September 2014 on the implementation of a 12-point peace plan; as well as the Minsk Agreement of 11 February 2015,

-having regard to the Council decisions continuing the sanctions imposed on the Russian Federation in relation to the illegal annexation of the Crimean peninsula,

-having regard to Rule 135 of its Rules of Procedure,

A. whereas 27th February 2017 was the third sad anniversary of the illegal annexation of the Crimean peninsula by Russia;

B. whereas the annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation is illegal and in violation of international law and European agreements signed by both the Russian Federation and Ukraine, notably the UN Charter, the Helsinki Final Act and the Budapest Memorandum;

C. whereas during the duration of annexation the Russian authorities are to be held responsible for the protection of the people and citizens of Crimea, through the de-facto authorities present in the region;

D.whereas the Russian Federation has been restricting access to Crimea for the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the UN and the Council of Europe, not to mention human rights NGOs and independent journalists; whereas the lack of access makes human rights;

E. whereas following the annexation or Crimea and the military aggression in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, a number of Ukrainian citizens have been detained on trumped-up charges in Russia, in Crimea and in parts of the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, some of these prisoners having faced trials and been convicted in courts, both Russian and those of the de-facto authorities in Crimea and in Donetsk and Luhansk;

F. whereas at least 30 Ukrainian citizens have been identified as illegally detained in Russia and temporarily occupied territory of Ukraine (Crimea and Sevastopol);

G. whereas Russian restrictive legislation regulating political and civil rights has been extended to Crimea that has resulted in drastically curtailing the freedoms of assembly, expression, association, access to information, and religion as well as credible reports of intimidation, enforced disappearances and torture;

H. whereas censorship and bans on protests have become an everyday reality in Crimea, political prosecution and collective punishment have become an instrument of keeping the local population in check;

1. Reiterates its commitment to the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognised borders;

2. Reminds that the human rights situation on the Crimean peninsula has significantly deteriorated, repressions against ethnic Crimean Tatars and Ukrainians, violation of freedom of speech, media abuse and forced imposition of Russian citizenship have become systematic; fundamental human rights and freedoms are not guaranteed in Crimea;

3. Reminds that there are approximately 20 000 internally displaced persons from Crimea in other Ukrainian regions, the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people has been banned and proclaimed an extremist organisation and Ukrainian schools have been closed on the peninsula;

4. Reminds the Russian authorities that despite the illegality of the annexation of Crimea, Russia is, in a de-facto capacity, fully responsible for upholding the legal order in Crimea and protecting Crimean citizens from arbitrary judicial or administrative measures;

5. Stresses that the decision of the Russian Federation on 21 March 2014 to incorporate Crimea remains illegal, and deplores the subsequent decision of the Russian authorities to give all inhabitants of Crimea Russian passports;

6. Expresses severe concern in relation to the fate of Ukrainian citizens illegally detained in the Russian Federation and in the temporarily occupied territory of Ukraine (Crimea and Sevastopol) on dubious and false charges, principally due of their active opposition to Russian annexation of Crimea; deplores granting Russian citizenship to the Ukrainian prisoners against their will;

7. Welcomes the recent visit of the Ukrainian Ombudsman to Crimea with an aim to meet the prisoners, regrets that the Ombudsman was not allowed to meet all of them, expresses hope that during her future visits she will have an unimpeded access to Ukrainian prisoners in Crimea as well as to the ones who were transferred to the Russian Federation;

8. Demands that all Ukrainian citizens identified as illegally detained be immediately and unconditionally released from Russian prisons and returned to Ukraine, prolonging their detention and illegal prosecution is a breach of their human rights as well as international law;

9. Requests to explore a possibility to establish an international format of negotiations discussing de-occupation of Crimea with the participation of the EU and which would be based on the international humanitarian law, human rights and international principles;

10. Recalls that according to Russian legislation, the jurisdiction of the Russian justice system applies only to crimes committed on the territory of Russia; deplores that Russian law enforcement agencies initiated several criminal cases regarding acts committed on the territory of Ukraine and Crimea before its annexation;

11.Welcomes the court proceeding in the International Court of Justice, where Ukraine and the Russian Federation seek to constructively solve the current conflict taking the international law and principles as the basis for discussion;

12. Expresses strong concerns over related reports on the use of torture in detention, of serious procedural weaknesses related to trials in Crimea, inside Russia and in the Donetsk and Luhansk areas and call on the Russian authorities to allow visits from Ukraine diplomats, international organisations and families of those detained;

13. Demands that Russia, as an occupational power in effective control over the Crimean peninsula and which is bound by the international humanitarian law and international human rights law, allows access of the UN, OSCE and Council of Europe missions, in particular the Human Rights Commissioner of the Council of Europe, to those detained, in order to monitor the conditions they face in detention; equally calls on Russia to provide information about the charges raised against those detained, about their health and on conditions they face in detention;

14. Expects the EU delegation, EEAS and Member States’ embassies to closely follow legal proceedings against Ukrainian citizens in Russia and to seek access to them, before, during and after their trails;

15. Expresses strong concern over the many credible reports of cases of disappearances, torturing and systemic intimidation of local citizens opposed to the annexation of Crimea and in opposition to the new de facto local authorities, and urges the occupational power to properly investigate these cases;

16. Underlines that the Crimean Tatars, as an indigenous people of the peninsula, and their cultural heritage seem to be a prime target for repressions; calls for unrestricted access to Crimea by international institutions and independent experts from the OSCE, the United Nations and the Council of Europe;

17. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Vice-President/High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the Member States, the President of Ukraine, the governments and parliaments of Ukraine and of the Russian Federation, the Parliamentary Assemblies of the Council of Europe and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe.