Statement of the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights Liudmyla Denisova on the vessel's crew "YMK-0041"

05/09/2018 16:00

It took 4 months after the border guards of the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation detained the crew of the Ukrainian vessel "YAMK-0041".

The captain of the vessel - a citizen of Ukraine Viktor Novitsky detained for supposedly illegal extraction of water biological resources. The Federal Security Service has opened an investigation against him under Part 3 of Art. 256 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation. He is still detained at the pretrial detention facility of Simferopol (in the so-called        «FKU SIZO №1 UFSIN of Russia in Republic of Crimea») on the territory of the temporarily occupied Crimea.

The crew members Sergey Kalinichenko, Ruslan Skrypnyk, Gennady Otychko and Oleg Blocka have to stay in the Crimea as their passports have been seized. Men are pressured and intimidated. They are completely exhausted physically and psychologically. This can lead to inevitable tragic consequences. The crew members have to rent a home at their own expense. Because of this, the relatives are in debt, borrow money and sell the property.

During these four months, I almost weekly addressed to the state authorities of the Russian Federation, which are competent for the return of our fishermen to the motherland. I have not received any replies.

I can state that during all four months the Russian Federation keeps Ukrainians on the territory of the annexed Crimean lawlessness and groundlessly. At the same time, they are citizens of Ukraine – and the Russian Federation does not contest it.

The Russian Federation violated human rights to liberty, security of person and freedom of movement, which are enshrined in Art. 3, 9 and 13 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Art. 5 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, art. 9, 12 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and Art. 5 of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.

I address to U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Ms. Michelle Bachelet, to the President of the Human Rights Council Mr. Vojislav Šuc, the Chairperson of the U.N. Human Rights Committee Mr. Yuji Iwasawa, the Chairperson of the Committee against Torture Mr. Jens Modvig, the Chairperson of the U.N. Subcommittee on the Prevention of Torture Sir Malcolm Evans, the Commissioner for Human Rights Ms. Dunja Mijatović, to the President of the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment Mr. Mykola Gnatovskyy to influence the situation and to facilitate the immediate return of illegally detained citizens of Ukraine to the motherland!