Crimean Tatar Resource Center

The illusion of exchange and Poklonska's fairy tales

15 September 2020

September 7 marks the year of the exchange of political prisoners between the Russian Federation and Ukraine / The Russian Federation continues to spread fakes about the UN position on the occupied Crimea / Poklonska never grows tired of making fairy tales about cooperation with the UN.

On September 7, 2019, a year ago, an exchange of political prisoners took place between the Russian Federation and Ukraine. Then, 24 prisoners of war and 11 political prisoners of Kremlin were released. At first, there were loud statements that another exchange would soon take place. However, neither in December, nor in April, the exchange of political prisoners of Kremlin did not take place.

A whole year has already passed. Time passes, and the number of political prisoners is only increasing.

Yes, that's just on the anniversary of the liberation in Kyiv, in the capital of Ukraine, former political prisoner Volodymyr Balukh was severely beaten. He is currently in a hospital in serious condition.

What is outrageous, considering that Balukh withstood torture and humiliation in the FSB dungeons, defending the interests of Ukraine and its citizens, is the very fact that in his native country he became a victim of severe beating.

While the Ukrainian competent authorities are investigating this incident, we wish Volodymyr a speedy recovery and we will keep the investigation of this case under control.

The Russian Federation continues to spread fakes about the UN position on the occupied Crimea. As reported by the Russian newspaper RIA News, the official representative of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Elizabeth Throssell, said that Russia has the main responsibility for ensuring access to water in the occupied Crimea, but “Ukraine should share this responsibility.”

But, later, the department denied this information, saying that their position on the Ukrainian peninsula remains unchanged, and the words of their representative were not given in full. As it turned out, the occupants did not like the UN response, and they decided to edit it a little.

But, by the way, what answer did they expect?

Nataliia Poklonska, MP of the Russian State Duma, ex-prosecutor of the occupied Crimea, never grows tired of making fairy tales about cooperation with the UN. This time, she stated that she was preparing a new letter to the UN on the situation with water in the occupied Crimea, since she was allegedly “additionally requested information on five points” and by the end of the week she would send all  the documents through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to the UN headquarters.

Poklonska even noted that she had already collected some of the information: specific stories, the presence of specific facts of damage to specific people. She claims that she has found farmers who have been suffering losses for the sixth year: they cannot work properly, the land is becoming unusable.

At the same time, Poklonska is silent that on August 14 the UN Human Rights Committee provided the Russian government with a list of questions for the eighth UN periodic report on human rights.

In this document, in paragraph 2, the UN Human Rights Committee asked the Russian Federation how it ensures the implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights “in situations of armed conflict with the participation of foreign governments, armed groups and proclaimed authorities, to which the state party exerts significant influence to the extent that such influence is tantamount to effective control over their activities or the area concerned, or constitutes a form of aiding and abetting.”

In paragraph 18, “the fight against extremism” requires an explanation, in connection with the excessive use of this legislation and its abuse, which negatively affects political activity.

Paragraph 22 of the List, “the violation of the rights of residents of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol” enshrined in the Covenant covers non-compliance by the Russian Federation with Articles 1, 2, 6, 7, 9, 10, 12-14, 16-19, 21, 22 and 25-27 of the Covenant, in particular about abductions, arbitrary detention, torture, ill-treatment and enforced disappearances, about the harassment, intimidation and detention of activists, journalists and bloggers in Crimea for their criticism of the Russian authorities in the media and social networks.

Paragraph 23 of the List separately mentions the oppression of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, the Greek Catholic Church and Muslim communities, it is required to explain the practice of administrative persecution in 78 cases of religious organizations and their members in Crimea, it is required to give an answer to accusations of persecution of representatives of the Crimean Tatar people, including a ban to enter Crimea, arrest and imprisonment of activists, as well as to outlaw Hizb ut-Tahrir, which is contrary to Ukrainian law.

The List also requires information on the measures taken to ensure the functioning of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people, especially taking into account the ruling of the International Court of Justice of April 19, 2017 and the measures taken to ensure access to education in the Crimean Tatar and Ukrainian languages in Crimea.

And in paragraph 24, it requires to report on measures taken to respect and protect the rights of indigenous peoples, including measures taken in law and in practice to prevent the degradation of drinking water.

How do you like it? Draw your own conclusions ...

Yes, Russia has already reacted to the prospect of the introduction of new sanctions by the world due to the poisoning of Navalny with military substance.

The procedure of amendments to presidential decree No. 179 has begun, which determined the list of substances prohibited in circulation.

That is, Russia lifts the ban on free circulation of chemical weapons and, at the same time, limits the circulation of antidotes, protective suits and instructions for their use for the population.

Probably so that next time no one who needs to be get rid of would suddenly survive because of the uncontrolled circulation of antidotes among ordinary citizens. And the West did not raise the question of the origin of the discovered poison or its victims.

Then there will be only one answer: “We do not control the circulation of poisons - and we are not responsible for the consequences.”

Fight for Crimea! Fight for Ukraine! The more people know the truth about Crimea, the more chances of liberating it we have!

Eskender Bariiev,
The Head of the Board of the Crimean Tatar Resource Center, 
a member of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people