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Human Rights Defenders Will Bring the National Bank to Responsibility for Discrimination of the Crimeans

Human rights activists have appealed to the court to revoke unlawful provisions, contained in the NBU Resolution No. 669 On the Crimean Ukrainians and require compensation for moral damages in the amount of UAH 16 thousand, because now Crimeans are limited in their rights to use the basic banking services: opening accounts, foreign currency exchange, payments etc.

Human rights activists believe that the NBU is discriminatory, contrary to the national law and violates the rights of citizens of Ukraine – internally displaced persons from the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the City of Sevastopol, the number of which only according to official data makes nearly 20 thousand.

The participants cite specific examples of discrimination they had to face, like many residents of the Crimea:

Serhii Zaiets – the lawyer, the expert of the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union: “Many Crimeans who had to leave the occupied territories have the relatives who remained in the Crimea and the City of Sevastopol. Occasionally they have to go to the Crimea, wherefore they need foreign currency – Russian roubles. Also, people occasionally go abroad and need to purchase foreign currency. Due to the current situation many people want to keep their savings in US dollars. However Crimeans are denied the opportunity to buy any foreign currency".

Anastasia Martynovska is the entrepreneur, and applied to the bank to open a current account. As an individual entrepreneur she is registered in Kyiv. However, according to her passport the registered residence address is the City of Sevastopol. Due to this fact a representative of the bank refused to open a current account citing the impugned Resolution.

Roman Martynovskyi is the expert on the discrimination issues of the Regional Centre for Human Rights and the lawyer, whose business address is registered in Sevastopol. However, since summer 2014 he is constantly living in Kyiv. In order to prepare for foreign travel and to protect his money from devaluation he had to buy euros in a branch of Oshchadbank (the Savings Bank of Ukraine), but he was also refused.

Human rights activists believe that if domestic servants of Themis do not see discrimination, the case will have good prospects in the European Court of Human Rights.

The plaintiffs urge the representatives of the media to widely publicize the case. The information on the time and place of the first hearing will be posted on the website of the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union.

Press conference organizers – the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union, the Human Rights Information Centre, the Strategic Litigations Platform, and the Regional Centre for Human Rights. The event is supported by UNDP in Ukraine and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark.

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