Human Rights Council 45th Session.
Item 10: Interactive dialogue with the High Commissioner
on the oral update on Ukraine
Norway’s statement as delivered by Ambassador Tine Mørch Smith, Permanent Representative of Norway
1 October 2020
Check against delivery
We thank the High Commissioner for her report and share her concern for the human rights situation in Ukraine. The COVID-19 pandemic has added to the problems, as vulnerable groups are disproportionally affected. The temporary closure of all entry-exit points across the contact line made it difficult for residents in the non-government-controlled areas to access health care, pensions and jobs. We call on all parties to ensure freedom of movement.
The situation for residents in the areas that are not under government control remains particularly concerning. We urge the Russia-backed armed formations to follow the repeated recommendations from the OHCHR to cease the practices of torture, ill-treatment and “preventive detention” and to grant (confidential) access by international human rights monitors to all detainees and places of detention.
Ukrainian authorities must investigate all allegations of torture and all violent attacks, including against journalists. They must ensure security for public assemblies and avoid arbitrary enforcement of COVID-19 restrictions.
We call on Russia, as the occupying power in Crimea, to uphold human rights for all residents. Freedom of expression, assembly and religion or belief must be upheld, including for Crimean Tatars. We urge Russia to respect international law and stop conscripting Crimean residents into the Russian armed forces.