Delivered by: Mr. Fredrik Nivaeus, Minister Counselor, Deputy Permanent Representative of Sweden to the UN in Geneva
Thank you, Madame High Commissioner, for this important briefing.
Russia’s large-scale aggression against Ukraine makes the already dire situation in the illegally annexed Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol even worse than before February 24. Russia is now using Crimea as a military base in its unprovoked, illegal and indefensible war against Ukraine. Sweden welcomes the Secretary-General’s crucial report on human rights in the peninsula, conveying a most alarming situation. We are deeply concerned by the countless violations of human rights by the Russian authorities in the peninsula, not least the continuation of politically motivated persecution including detentions of Ukrainian citizens of Crimean Tatar origin, and arbitrary detentions of lawyers.
We continue to call on Russia to uphold its obligations under international human rights law and international humanitarian law, and to respect the human rights of all residents of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol. Russia must immediately and unconditionally release all arbitrarily detained persons. The EU position is clear - Russia must immediately stop its aggression and unconditionally withdraw all forces and military equipment from the entire territory of Ukraine within its internationally recognised borders.
Madame High Commissioner,
Could you elaborate on the worrying reports that Russia is using Crimea for the detention of Ukrainian human rights defenders and community leaders from Kherson?
I thank you.