On the 10th of December the world celebrates the International Human Rights Day. This day in 1948, the UN General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Adoption of this universal human rights document and creation of the International system of human rights protection happened after the Second World War, when the International community realized the consequences of the terrible human rights abuses and crimes against humanity, developed the mechanisms for preventing and avoiding them in future.
Today, 74 years after, Russia, which is still a Member State of the United Nations, openly demonstrates disrespect to principles enshrined in the Universal Declaration, European Convention on Human Rights as well as in other international legal instruments.
Violations of human rights and freedoms by the aggressor state have continued since 2014, when it occupied Crimea, Sevastopol and the territories in Donetsk and Luhansk regions. With the beginning of Russia's full-scale armed aggression against Ukraine, systematic violations of rights and restrictions of fundamental freedoms, including illegal arrests, enforced disappearances, killings, deprivation of the right to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression, have also spread over into other territories of Ukraine temporarily occupied by Russia.
Since 24 February 2022, investigative bodies of the National Police of Ukraine have launched 47,822 criminal proceedings for crimes committed in Ukraine by members of the armed forces of the Russian Federation and their henchmen.
More than 140 Ukrainian citizens remain illegally arrested by Russia on politically motivated charges, and this number continues to rise. Since the beginning of Russia's full-scale invasion to Ukraine, the Russian occupation administration has handed down a number of void sentences to political prisoners of Crimea, whose total prison terms already amount to more than 1,300 years.
Russia must immediately put an end to the oppression of political, linguistic, cultural and religious rights in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine, stop illegal detention and illegal persecution of Ukrainian citizens. Violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms, as well as humanitarian law committed by Russia in Ukraine, threaten the proper functioning of the international human rights system. We are convinced that this can only be prevented by joint international efforts to strengthen the ability to more effectively respond, prevent and punish such crimes.
We call on the international community to increase pressure on Russia to stop violating human rights and release all illegally detained Ukrainian citizens. We also emphasize the need to create a special tribunal regarding the crime of Russian aggression against Ukraine. Punishing the Russian Federation and its officials will make it impossible to repeat Russian aggression in the future.