The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights reported [text, PDF] on Monday that human rights violations have significantly increased in Crimea since Russia began occupation over the territory in March 2014, with many violations committed by Russian state agents.
The most significant change Russia made in Crimea is the implementation of Russian citizenship. Many oppose Russian citizenship and refuse to show allegiance to Russia. Individuals without Russian Federation citizenship are denied many rights, including, among others, the right to vote or run for office, the right to own agricultural land, and the right to register a religious community. The groups most susceptible to human rights violations are “those who formally rejected citizenship; civil servants who had to renounce their Ukrainian citizenship or lose their jobs; and Crimean residents who did not meet the legal criteria for citizenship and became foreigners.”
Human rights violations are seen at the judicial and law enforcement levels, with courts, the Crimean Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation (FSB), and local police reported as perpetrators:
Russian Federation justice system applied in Crimea often failed to uphold fair trial rights and due process guarantees. Court decisions have confirmed actions, decisions and requests of investigating or prosecuting bodies, seemingly without proper judicial oversight. … Grave human rights violations, such as arbitrary arrests and detentions, enforced disappearances, ill-treatment and torture, and at least one extra-judicial execution were documented. … [A]uthorities in Crimea have failed to effectively investigate most allegations of human rights violations committed by the security forces or armed groups acting under the direction or control of the state.
The report lists 20 recommendations for Russia in Crimea to reduce and remedy human rights violations, including re-implementation of Ukrainian law and ensuring independent and impartial administration of justice.