Publication

Case of 26 February: 4 years of occupation

On the occasion of the fourth anniversary of the events that happened on 26 February in Crimea, we present the full text of the report on the “Case of 26 February” prepared by the International Expert Group during the last year.

It comes with a special video footage prepared together with Hromadske TV.

Full text of the report is now available on our website.

On 26 February 2014, two protests took place near the building of the Verkhovna Rada of Crimea in Simferopol, one organized by the Russian Unity party and another by the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People. The demonstrations essentially represented two opposing perspectives on the status of Crimea. In the course of the demonstrations, two people died and others received injuries.

After Crimea’s annexation, Russia started persecuting several participants of the pro-Ukrainian 26 February protest from among the Crimean Tatars for organizing and taking part in the riots of 26 February 2014.

9 persons altogether are being prosecuted in the 26 February case. Criminal charges have been brought against Crimean Tatars, specifically targeting the participants of the pro-Ukrainian demonstration.

On 25 October of 2017 one of the parties to the case, deputy head of the Crimean Tatar Mejlis Akhtem Chyigoz, was released from detention and handed over to Turkey. He has currently resumed his duties in Kyiv.

In December 2015 the International Expert Group has been formed, comprising representatives of 6 human rights organizations from 4 countries, with the purpose of preparing a report on the 26 February case. A year’s work by the expert group resulted in a detailed reconstruction of the protests held on 26 February 2014 before Crimea’s Verkhovna Rada, as well as a legal analysis of these events and their consequences in the context of international human rights norms. The report also contains conclusions and recommendations by the expert group for the governments of Ukraine and Russia.

 

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