Kyiv, March 26 2014 – On the press-briefing in Ukrainian Crisis Media Center the activists of Euromaydan SOS and Crimea SOS appealed to the current government with proposals for legislative support of the rights and freedoms of citizens of Ukraine in Crimea. They also called for improving the operation of the helplines which have been opened last week by the government in order to help the residents of the ARC.
Activists made a number of remarks to the Sergey Sobolev’s bill ‘On Protection of Rights and Freedoms in the Temporarily Occupied Territory of Ukraine’, which is currently pending in the Parliament. According to Olexandra Dvoretska, Crimean activist and human rights activist, the bill does not in any way respond to the issues such as the relocation of citizens, tax payments for individuals and legal entities registered in Crimea and the question of the fate of people who are in prison or those whose cases are under the process of jurisdiction of the courts and others. Instead, the bill introduces the new article on collaboration to the Criminal Code of Ukraine, according to which any interaction with the occupying state or its agents will be considered as grounds for criminal prosecution. However, the activist stresses that ordinary population of Crimea will objectively face situations, where they would have to interact with the local authorities, law enforcement agencies and other bodies guided in their functioning by the legislation of the Russian Federation.
Therefore, the activists have urged not to make swift political decisions on such an important issue, but refine the bill and pass a law that would not be discriminative towards the people of Crimea.
Kostyantyn Reutskiy, human rights activist, activist of Crimea SOS, emphasized the following: “We have not lost the territory; first of all, we have lost the people. Now in Crimea remain several hundreds of thousands of people for whom the incident is certainly the life tragedy; they have actually been broken through the knee, and their fate will be difficult, at least. We have no right to close our eyes or pull the plug on what had happened. Ukrainian society and Ukrainian authorities should remember about these people and do everything in their power to facilitate their existence in the occupied territory’.