Today we celebrate International Human Rights Day. Ukraine pays special attention to the protection of human rights. I highly appreciate the initiative of the Ukrainian and Crimean Tatar public organizations to hold this event regarding the human rights situation in the occupied Crimea.
Nowadays Ukraine is facing cruelty and disrespect for human rights in the because of the occupation of the Ukrainian Crimea by the Russian Federation and its aggression in the eastern Ukraine. It is important for us to learn the truth according to oral information provided directly by the people who were victims of Russia's so-called justice.
Russia brutally violates human rights in Crimea. The Crimean Tatars are put to systematic pressures as the most cohesive community. There are killings, tortures, harassment, unlawful detention and enforced disappearance and harassment of journalists, human rights defenders and activists. It is not an exaggeration, but, unfortunately, objective reality.
30 Ukrainians are in the Russian prisons on political motives, being charged with crimes they did not commit. Millions of people live in fear of being declared extremists, terrorists and spies of Ukraine, being thrown in jail or disappear.
We all need to have firm intention to establish international monitoring in the occupied Crimea and bring the occupants to the responsibility.
It is pleasure for me to see here already released political prisoners from the Russian hands. I was glad to be involved in the release process, as Director General for consular service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine. We keep on fighting until all the Ukrainian political prisoners will come back home!
I express my respect to the people, who are on the frontline of the defence and promotion of human rights, who are struggling for justice, risking their health and lives.
I bow my head before the courage of the political prisoners and human rights defenders. Let people know the truth about the Ukrainian political prisoners sentenced by Russia for non-existent crimes. We bring up the issue at all levels in every country and in the framework of every international organization.
The release of political prisoners - matter of honour for all of us!