Halya Coynash: Council of Europe will share responsibility for grave human rights violations if it gives in to Russia now

posted 14 Dec 2017, 09:47 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 14 Dec 2017, 09:51 ]
14 December 2017

By Halya Coynash

Source: Human Rights in Ukraine

Crimean Tatar leaders, the sister of Russia’s youngest Ukrainian political prisoner and prominent Ukrainian human rights organizations have warned the Council of Europe against compromising its own values by giving in to pressure from Russia. There can be no grounds for reinstating Russia’s voting rights within the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe [PACE] while Russia continues its occupation of Crimea, military aggression in Donbas and escalating human rights abuse. As reported, the proposal to reinstate Russia has come only because the latter suspended its annual payment to the Council of Europe in June 2017 and is now threatening to end its participation in the European Court of Human Rights. CE Secretary General, Thorbjorn Jagland appears to be promoting Russian reinstatement, claiming that “we have to keep in perspective: what is our mandate. Our mandate is to protect human rights in Russia and Crimea, or wherever people live on the continent.” It is fitting, therefore, that Mr Jagland and his colleagues should be hearing the position of those who have directly suffered human rights abuse under Russian occupation and who foresee only a sharp escalation in such violations if the Council of Europe gives Russia as occupying state such an effective carte blanche. [Read more]