A meeting of the Platform for International Action for the Release of Political Prisoners was held in Kyiv

July 5, 2020

On Wednesday, July 1, the constituent meeting of the Platform for International Action on the Release of Russian Political Prisoners by Russia was held, during which the participants discussed the current state of affairs on the issue of illegally detained persons and protecting their rights in custody.

The meeting was attended by representatives of the Ministry of Reintegration, the Office of the President of Ukraine, the Representative Office of the President of Ukraine in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, the Human Rights Commissioner of the Verkhovna Rada, the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people, non-governmental human rights organizations, as well as relatives of illegally detained persons.

In his speech, the Head of the Crimean Tatar Resource Center, a member of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people, Eskender Bariiev, raised the problem of the participation of representatives of the occupying authorities on international platforms of the UN and OSCE on behalf of the so-called public organizations in the online mode on the ZOOM platform, in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bariiev recalled that on June 23, 2020, at the 2nd OSCE Supplementary Human Dimension Meeting “Freedom of Expression, Media, and Information,” Georgy Muradov the so-called Deputy Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Crimea – Permanent Representative of the Republic of Crimea to the President of the Russian Federation held a speech.

Holding a meeting in this format made it possible to bypass the policy of non-recognition of annexation attempts and existing sanctions to representatives of the structures of the so-called Republic of Crimea. The Head of the Board of the Crimean Tatar Resource Center recalled that the organization had responded by appealing to the United Nations, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, other international organizations, governments and parliaments of world states on the prohibition of representatives of Russian occupation structures from participating in international events online in Crimea.

Eskender Bariiev also emphasized that it is necessary to work on improving the mechanism for monitoring the implementation of the EU sanctions policy and strengthen the advocacy campaign on the application of personal sanctions against individuals involved in human rights violations by analogy with the Magnitsky Act, an example are the Baltic countries.

“To release the Kremlin’s political prisoners, intersectoral interaction between government bodies and the public sector, primarily human rights organizations, is necessary. Only with a coordinated and effective interaction can we achieve the release of our compatriots from the FSB prisons”,- the Head of the CTRC said.