Human Rights Violations in Crimea and Parts of Donbas

Delegations from 32 OSCE participating States listen to a presentation by Oleksandra Romantsova from the Center for Civil Liberties. (USOSCE/Peters)

Human Rights Violations in Crimea and Parts of Donbas

As delivered by Chargé d’Affaires, a.i. Harry R. Kamian
Vienna, February 27, 2018

Thank you, Ihor, it is an honor to have an opportunity to share this stage with you. The leadership that you and your delegation have shown in my time here in making sure that the issue remains at the forefront of our agenda is admirable, and you can count on the United States to always be with you.

Welcome dear friends and colleagues – in particular a shout-out of appreciation for the representatives from the 32 co-sponsors of the event: thank you very much for joining us today!

It is an honor to be here today to have an opportunity to hear from an expert from civil society on the serious issue of human rights violations in Crimea and the Donbas.  The fact that 32 OSCE participating States are co-sponsoring this event illustrates the high level of policy interest within our organization, as well as the support that you and your colleagues in civil society enjoy across the OSCE for your contributions to advancing human rights in the area.

A special thanks goes out to you, Oleksandra, for being here. Individuals like you provide much needed ground truth to our discussions here at the OSCE.  I know from my discussions with my colleagues at the Embassy in Kyiv that they value your work, they rely on it, and they agree that the work of the Center for Civil Liberties gives us focus here in Vienna. It gives us solutions.  It even gives us inspiration in the face of challenges. So thank you for your commitment to advancing human rights on the ground there.

I would also like to thank your colleague Aleksandra Krylenkova for her report, and we share the sympathies expressed by you for her not being able to be here, and we hope for her speedy recovery.

Four years ago Ukrainians from all walks of life and all regions of the country came together on the Maydan to demand their government recognize the choice of the citizens of Ukraine to join Europe.

It is a dream that still burns in the hearts of most Ukrainians, and one that they won’t abandon.