Wednesday, June 14 2017 22:58 EEST
Ukraine
Ukraine, EU concerned over human rights situation in Crimea, Donbas
Ukraine, EU,  Concerned, Human,  Rights, Crimea, Donbas

The European Union and Ukraine have expressed concern over a further deterioration in the human rights situation in the Russian-annexed Crimean peninsula and the occupied areas in Donetsk and Luhansk regions, according to a joint press release following the EU-Ukraine Human Rights dialogue.

"The EU and Ukraine expressed grave concern over the further deterioration of the human rights situation on the Crimean peninsula, including the situation of Crimean Tatars, following its illegal annexation by the Russian Federation," the press release said.

The EU and Ukraine condemned the human rights violations and abuses in the areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions, which are not under the full effective control of the government of Ukraine.

"They also called for the immediate release of illegally detained Ukrainian citizens in Russia and the Crimean peninsula," reads the report.

The EU and Ukraine raised ways to mitigate the humanitarian impact on civilians of the illegal annexation of the Crimean peninsula and the conflict in the east of Ukraine.

They also discussed the ways to protect the human rights of internally displaced persons (IDPs).

The work of the Ministry for Temporary Occupied Territories and IDPs and the Action Plan for certain areas of Donetsk and Luhansk, adopted by the government of Ukraine, were welcomed.

The EU and Ukraine discussed the prevention of ill-treatment and torture and the contribution that the ongoing reforms in the area of law enforcement continue to have in strengthening human rights in Ukraine.

"The EU also called for further progress to be made in the investigations into the crimes committed during the EuroMaidan protests, and the violent events in Odesa on 2 May 2014, emphasizing the need to address the shortcomings identified by the International Advisory Panel of the Council of Europe and to bring to justice those responsible," the press release said.

The EU highlighted the importance of harmonizing electoral legislation and the appointment of members of the Central Election Commission whose mandate has expired.

Both sides highlighted the importance of free and independent media and discussed ways to advance the safety of journalists and media outlets, including the steps taken to address publication of journalists' private data on Ukrainian websites.

The decision to block a number of Russian-based online services was also addressed.

Also on the agenda of the Dialogue was non-discrimination policy, including the rights of LGBTI persons and those belonging to ethnic, linguistic, religious and national minorities, and the rights of the child.

Gender equality and women's rights, especially domestic violence, were raised and the EU encouraged Ukraine to ratify the Istanbul Convention.

The EU delegation was led by Dirk Schuebel, the head of the Division for bilateral relations with the Eastern Partnership countries in the European External Action Service.

The Ukrainian delegation was led by Ukrainian Deputy Justice Minister Serhiy Petukhov.

The next Human Rights Dialogue meeting between Ukraine and the EU is scheduled for the summer of 2018.

Earlier Reuters: U.S., partners plan European military exercise with 25,000 troops

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