43 cases of forced disappearances recorded in Crimea after occupation - UN

43 cases of forced disappearances recorded in Crimea after occupation - UN - фото 1
The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for human rights (OHCHR) has identified 43 cases of forced disappearances in Crimea since Russia occupied the peninsula in 2014.

According to Ukrinform, this is stated in an information brief published on March 31 by the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine.

As RISU has repeatedly reported, Crimean Tatars, who are Muslims by religion, are subjected to severe persecution by the occupation authorities.

"Since the onset of the occupation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol (Ukraine) in 2014, OHCHR has documented 43 cases of forced disappearance in Crimea," the report says.

It is noted that forced disappearances occur mainly in the form of abduction; among the victims are 39 men and 4 women.

The first documented case of forced disappearance was on March 3, 2014, and the most recent was on May 23, 2018.

Read also: more than 200 criminal cases were instituted in the occupied Crimea for refusing to serve in the Russian army.

According to the Information Certificate, out of 43 victims of forced disappearance, 11 people (all men) remain missing, and one person is in custody.

"The forced disappearances were probably committed by armed groups, such as the Self-defense of Crimea and Cossack groups; representatives of the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation; and other law enforcement agencies, in particular the Crimean police," the authors of the document stressed.

According to OHCHR, the abductors used torture and ill-treatment to force victims to testify against themselves or to testify against others, as well as revenge for their political position or association with political organizations.

At the same time, the document states that no person was brought to justice in connection with any of the enforced disappearances, as well as for cases of torture and ill-treatment documented by OHCHR.

As reported, in February 2014, Russia launched armed aggression against Ukraine, seizing part of its territory – Crimea.

On March 16, 2014, Russia held a so-called referendum on the status of Crimea on the occupied peninsula. Two days later, on March 18, 2014, the so-called Treaty on the admission of the Republic of Crimea to the Russian Federation was signed in the Kremlin.

Most UN member states and other international organizations have recognized the falsified Crimean referendum staged by the invaders as illegitimate.