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Human Rights Council, 30th Session: Statement by the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

The UK delivers a statement during the Interactive dialogue on Ukraine, Geneva, 29 September 2015.

The UN building in Geneva
The HRC takes place at the Palais des Nations in Geneva

Thank you, Mr President.

We commend Ukraine for its continuing engagement with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and its readiness to discuss the OHCHR’s reporting in such an open and constructive manner. This approach sets an excellent example for others to follow and is testament to Ukraine’s commitment to continue to make progress. We believe that this Council should support Ukraine through ongoing technical assistance on human rights as it works to address the challenges it faces. We also wish to express our sincere appreciation to OHCHR for its ongoing work in Ukraine, especially those on the ground who are working in very challenging circumstances.

We remain deeply concerned by the continued deterioration of the human rights situation in eastern Ukraine and illegally-annexed Crimea. The 11th report of the OHCHR Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine reminds us of the seriousness of the situation, reporting that almost 8,000 people have been killed and more than 1.4 million IDPs have lost their homes since the beginning of the crisis.

The OHCHR report provides details on human rights violations and abuses which continue in eastern Ukraine such as shelling, executions, arbitrary and illegal detentions, human trafficking and the lack of justice and accountability. The Russian Federation continues to supply the separatists with sophisticated weapons and manpower which play a significant part in the continuing violence and instability in the region.

We are deeply concerned that the de facto authorities in eastern Ukraine have ordered UN agencies and international NGOs to end operations and leave the area with almost immediate effect.

Human rights violations continue to be committed by the de facto authorities in Crimea including arrests, ill-treatment, torture and intimidation of the Crimean Tatars and Ukrainian speaking communities and those who oppose the de facto authorities. We call on all sides to respect international law.

We also remain deeply concerned by Nadia Savchenko´s illegal detention in Russia and the sentencing of Oleg Sentsov and Oleksandr Kolchenko on disproportionate and politically motivated charges.

We call on all parties to fully honour their obligations under the Minsk agreements as a first step towards a sustainable political solution to the crisis in Ukraine.

Thank you, Mr President.

Published 29 September 2015