OSCE/ODIHR and HCNM release report by Human Rights Assessment Mission in Ukraine
WARSAW / THE HAGUE, 12 May 2014 – The OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) and the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities (HCNM) today released the report from the joint Human Rights Assessment Mission the two institutions sent to Ukraine in early March 2014.
The assessment and recommendations are presented in two separate sections in the report, with those in the first part based on the information gathered by 19 human rights experts deployed by ODIHR from 6 March to 1 April, and the second on information from several HCNM delegations of minority rights experts who visited Ukraine between 8 March and 17 April.
The ODIHR section of the report identifies a significant number of serious human rights violations, including murder and physical assaults, as well as cases of intimidation and enforced disappearances. The victims of these were primarily pro-Maidan activists and journalists, and those in Crimea also included Ukrainian military personnel and members of the Crimean Tatar community.
The HCNM found that the events in Ukraine are having a serious effect on the situation of national minorities, especially in Crimea. In Crimea, the Crimean Tatars are in a particularly precarious position, and ethnic Ukrainians have become a new focus of concern. The HCNM also found that hasty decisions on sensitive issues, such as language and other matters of direct concern to national minorities, without consultations with them, are creating an atmosphere in which inter-community relations and trust in the authorities are strained and tensions are heightened.
The Human Rights Assessment Mission was deployed following a request by the Government of Ukraine on 3 March.