The European Union and Ukraine discussed human rights during their annual Human Rights Dialogue on Wednesday (13 June) in Kyiv. Both sides reiterated their commitment to common values, in particular full respect for democratic principles, rule of law, good governance, human rights and fundamental freedoms. Both sides have expressed their concerns over the further deterioration of the human rights situation in Crimea following the annexation by the Russian Federation.
The situation of Crimean Tatars was also discussed – under the pretext of fighting terrorism, authorities took arbitrary legal action against some Crimean Tatar activists in retaliation for their nonviolent opposition to Russia’s occupation. The EU and Ukraine condemned the human rights violations and abuses in the areas of Luhansk and Donetsk, which are not under full control of the Ukrainian government where local security services operate in an absence of the rule of law. Both Ukrainian authorities and pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine detained many civilians for collaborating with the other side, held them in arbitrary detention and deprived them of contact with lawyers or family.
The EU and Ukraine are committed to mitigate the humanitarian impact on civilians of the conflict, also keeping in mind the protection of the human rights of internally displaced persons. Both sides also talked about the prevention of ill-treatment and torture and the ongoing reforms in the area of law enforcement. Brussels also additionally called for more progress in the investigations into the crimes committed during the EuroMaidan protests and the violent events in Odessa on 2 May 2014, emphasizing the need to address the shortcomings identified by the International Advisory Panel of the Council of Europe.