Korotky’s statement in OSCE on the topic Responses to Gross Violations of International Human Rights Law (IHRL) During Times of Crisis

April 28, 2023

Full text of statement:

SESSION III: Responses to Gross Violations of International Human Rights Law (IHRL) During Times of Crisis

Over the past two days, we have been discussing the horrific crimes, torture and ill-treatment that are taking place in various countries of the OSCE region. In this way, authoritarian governments try to consolidate their power and suppress any manifestation of civil activism. Such actions are intensified during international armed conflicts. For example, in Crimea, just this morning, an activist of the Crimean Tatar people, human rights defender Abdureshit Jeparov was searched. Today in Crimea, people are stopped on the streets for no reason at all.

Our collective task is not only to document and record such cases and then tell each other about them at events like this. We must take truly effective and efficient measures to bring accountability, establish the truth and restore justice.

In this context, cooperation with international and regional, as well as with special mechanisms for the protection of human rights, such as UN treaty bodies, special procedures, mechanisms of the Council of Europe, is important. Our organization has a positive experience of such cooperation, when thanks to our intervention people’s lives were saved.

The untimely and insufficient response to human rights violations in the occupied Crimea led to even greater brutality in the form of war crimes and crimes against humanity in Ukraine in 2022 and continue now. Since 2018, the Crimean Tatar Resource Center has been working to bring to individual responsibility those guilty of gross violations of human rights. In particular, on the introduction of personal sanctions by law similar to the Magnitsky Act.

In 2020, our experts developed the Classification of Persons Responsible for Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Crimea, which in the form of a diagram presented on the website of the Crimean Tatar Resource Center. Today, this classification includes 9 classification features and covers 166 people.

We sent the relevant list with supporting documentation to 6 countries: the USA, Estonia, Great Britain, Canada, Lithuania and Latvia, as well as the European Union, which have relevant provisions in their legislation.

Of course, the creation of a special tribunal is essential, and we do not propose to replace the investigation of the crimes of the Russian military in Ukraine with the introduction of personal sanctions. However, the introduction of personal sanctions will facilitate swift justice for the victims of these heinous crimes and will act as a deterrent to the continuation of this practice.

Therefore, I call on all the representatives of the countries present here to intensify work in this direction at the national level. We are ready to join such activities and provide on our side all available materials.