Ukraine’s government too slow in protecting Crimeans’ rights
At a press conference on August 4, members of the Crimean Human Rights Field Mission were critical of the Ukrainian authorities for their inaction over Crimea. The cabinet of ministers came in for particular criticism with the activists reporting that around 10 resolutions and other normative acts are needed to protect the rights of Crimean residents, in particular those who have retained Ukrainian citizenship. Despite the fact that the base law on temporarily occupied territory which safeguards all Ukrainians’ rights was adopted back on April 15, these other documents have still not been passed.
Olha Skrypnyk, deputy head of the Mission, points out that due to the lack of transparent rules regarding the crossing of the border and formalization of documents in the new conditions, Ukrainians are sometimes unable to cross the border which the occupation regime has imposed as a border between Ukraine and the Crimea as part of Russia.
There are fundamental differences such as that Russian nationals receive a passport [internal document; a different passport is needed for travel abroad – translator] at the age of 14, whereas in Ukraine it is at 16. That means that 14- and 15-year-old Crimeans who wish to receive a Ukrainian passport cannot cross the Russian part of the border. Russian border guards are also not letting through Crimeans whose Ukrainian passport is out of date or who have lost it. Yet they can only receive identification documents in mainland Ukraine.
There have been cases, the members of the Mission say, where Ukrainian border guards have removed pro-Ukrainian activists from trains or coaches because they could not provide ‘documentary confirmation’ of the objective of their visit to mainland Ukraine.
From the report