(Berlin) – Russian authorities have created a pervasive climate of fear and repression in Crimea in the two years since it has occupied the peninsula, Human Rights Watch said today. It is crucial for key international actors to keep Crimea’s drastically deteriorating human rights situation high on their agendas.
“Crimea’s isolation has made it very difficult to conduct comprehensive human rights monitoring there,” said Hugh Williamson, Europe and Central Asia director for Human Rights Watch. “But serious human rights abuses in Crimea should not slip to the bottom of the international agenda.”
Since Russian forces began occupying Crimea in early 2014, the space for free speech, freedom of association, and media in Crimea has shrunk dramatically. In two years, authorities have failed to conduct meaningful investigations into actions of armed paramilitary groups, implicated in torture, extra-judicial killings, enforced disappearances, attacks and beatings of Crimean Tatar and pro-Ukraine activists and journalists.