Задать свой вопрос

Имя
Email
Суть вопроса

Special issue Forcible Expulsion of the Civilian Population from the Occupied Territory by Russia

Crimea beyond rules. Special issue. Forcible Expulsion of the Civilian Population from the Occupied Territory by Russia

The Crimean events in February-March 2014 created a special legal situation. On the one hand, the international community did not recognize the legality of the annexation of Crimea – the territory of the peninsula is considered like occupied. On this basis, the armed conflicts’ international law – The Hague and The Geneva Conventions, The Rome Statute, – is applied. Consequently, people who legal or no were at the time of occupation there, foreigners, and, of course, the citizens of Ukraine are categorized as protected persons. The Ukrainian legislation is basic law in the context of the expulsion these persons from the Crimea; therefore such issues can be solved only in Ukrainian legal field adjusted for the requirements of international human rights law.

On the other hand, since the signing the Treaty between the Russian Federation and the Republic of Crimea, the legislation of the Russian Federation is de facto applied on the territory of the peninsula. Using this legislation the demographic sweep is carried out. The expulsion of protected persons as controlled self-departure and forced expulsion from the Crimea (as a part of the territory of the Russian Federation) is an element of this sweep. The cause for the expulsion is a court statement.

The Regional Center of Human Rights in 2017-2018 conducted a study on the fact of the expulsion of civilians from the territory of the Crimea. Using a monitoring system, collecting information from public and private sources, its subsequent verification and analysis, identification of victims of human rights violations and recording evidences of these violations, an evidentiary base was formed. This base confirms the systematic nature of violations. Also were formed personal files of victims of the Russian Federation expulsion policy. In the course of the analysis of the data, the initiators of the study concluded that the expulsion of civilians from the territory of the Crimea is systemic and cover the entire occupied territory and all categories of protected people.

The International law in the field of human rights and international humanitarian law contains multiple guarantees to ensure the right of free choice of residence place, moving from/to a country, free return to own country, and a ban on expulsion. The consequences of the application of Russian immigration legislation are: expulsion from the Crimea, relocation of civilians from/to the occupied territory, illegal restriction and imprisonment, and deportation. In the sense of The Rome Statute of International Criminal Law they all are qualified as crimes against humanity and war crimes.

The decision on expulsion is made on the grounds of the Treaty between the Russian Federation and the Republic of Crimea. From the signing date Russian occupation legislation has been applied to the territory of the peninsula. It also includes the migration laws and rules. According to the migration rules, persons who entered the territory of the Russian Federation can stay there without a residence permit or obtaining a temporary residence permit for no more than 90 days for every 180 days. So, if protected persons in the Crimea on June 15, 2014 did not fulfill the requirements of the migration legislation of the Russian Federation, they are at risk group.

In this situation the most affected are two categories of civilians:

  • Ukrainian citizens who:
    1. had the residence place in the Crimea and refused to accept Russian citizenship;
    2. lived in the Crimea without official registration;
    3. arrived to the Crimea after the occupation.
  • Foreigners and stateless persons who:
    1. arrived and lived in the Crimea with permission of the Ukrainian authorities;
    2. legally arrived, but lived with violations of the Ukrainian migration laws and rules;
    3. arrived after the occupation with violations of the Russian migration laws and rules (even if they had the permission of the Ukrainian authorities).

The migration requirements’ violation isn’t the only one formal reason for the court statement to expel a person from the territory of the Russian Federation. According to the Code of Administrative Offenses of the Russian Federation, the penalty of expulsion can be applied for administrative offense committing. The code identifies 23 corpus delicti crimes. One of two forms of expulsion: controlled self departure and forced expulsion can be a punishment.

In practice, a person has 5 days for controlled self departure. Control over the execution on administrative expulsion is exercised by the Federal Executive Authority in the field of migration. In a situation of forced expulsion, the person shall be transferred to an executive authority representative of the state on whose territory he is being expelled. As a rule, this process is carried out by border agencies and is accompanied by documentation. The act is attached to the materials of administrative proceedings.

A person who is adjudged to forcibly expel, is to be detained in the security services special premises or in the Temporary Detention Centers for Foreign Citizens until the execution of the court statement. The conditions of detention are similar to the terms of a criminal punishment and significantly limit freedom. There are no such Centers on the territory of the Crimea. Thereby the adjusted civilians are transferred to such centers located on the territory of the Russian Federation. This fact prevents them to appeal against the court statement on expulsion.

In addition, neither during the trial, nor in the court statement it doesn’t explain the consequences of expulsion from the territory of the Russian Federation. They are:

1) the inability to obtain a temporary residence permit or residence permit in the Russian Federation for 5 years, or for 10 years if expulsion or deportation is repeated;

2) a ban on entry into the territory of the Russian Federation for 5 years, or for 10 years if such decisions were taken two or more times regarding one person.

Thus, the persons exposed to expulsion are extremely limited in their rights and freedoms, and have undergone an interference in personal and family life, because they have long-lasting and strong ties with the territory of Crimea — family and children, relatives, the availability of movable and immovable property, education, work, etc.

Moreover, all national remedies are ineffective in the sense of international law, because they have such disadvantages:

1) non-observance of the principle of fair trial – the courts ignore the right to use lawyer and interpreter services;

2) the impossibility of effective appealing the statement on expulsion to a higher judicial authority – The Supreme Court of the Crimea – because of current administrative and law enforcement practice;

3) the absence of audio and video recording and protocol of the court session; as a result it is impossible to check the voluntariness of guilt confession.

At the end of the analysis, it is obvious that the situation with the human rights protecting in part of expulsion is a stalemate because of such reasons:

1) the Russian legal system does not provide effective ways to prevent the risks of liberty deprivation during the execution of the statement on expulsion (the conclusion of the ECHR);

2) until the courts in the occupied Crimea don’t recognize the fact of the illegality of the annexation, there are no material and procedural ways for effective legal protection from expulsion (in the sense of applying the Russian Federation migration legislation).

Read the full version of thematic review “Crimea beyond rules. Forcible Expulsion of the Civilian Population from the Occupied Territory by Russia”.

See also

Report of the International Expert Group. “26 February criminal case”. Part 1
Крым без правил

Special issue. Religious occupation: Oppression of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyiv Patriar...

Crimea beyond rules. Special issue. Religious occupation: Oppression of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyiv Patriarchate The principles of freedom of worship and religion declared by constitutions and international law become a token-money in the process of political and geopolitical confrontations as much as other political and civil rights. Intervention into the spiritual area […]
Аналитика

Advocates under occupation: Situation with observing the advocates’ rights in the context of the armed conflict in Ukraine

Advocates under occupation: Situation with observing the advocates’ rights in the context of the armed conflict in Ukraine The presence of an independent legal profession is particularly important under the conditions of occupation and an armed conflict, which includes guaranteeing the rights of lawyers and their professional activities that are indispensable for fair justice. This […]
Аналитика

Recommendations to the Ukrainian authorities within the civil society consultations: “Human Rights situation in Crimea”

Recommendations to the Ukrainian authorities prepared by the experts of the NGO “Regional Centre of Human Rights” upon the invitation of the Political Office of the Delegation of the European Union to Ukraine within the civil society consultations: “Human Rights situation in Crimea”.  Recommendation 1 for Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine Include representatives of civil society into […]
Крым без правил

Thematic reviews of the human rights situation under occupation

Crimea beyond rules. Thematic reviews of the human rights situation under occupation “Crimea Beyond Rules” – the series of thematic reviews of violations of international human rights standards in occupied Crimea Although the President of the Russian Federation V. Putin justified his decision on the annexation of Crimea by the necessity to protect the local population, the following […]
Крым без правил

Special issue Transfer by the Russia parts of its own civilian population into the occupied territor...

Crimea beyond rules. Special issue. Transfer by the Russian Federation parts of its own civilian population into the occupied territory of Ukraine  The occupation of the Crimean peninsula in March 2014 painfully influenced on system of democratic values, which underlies the state-building logic of most countries of the world. Its undeniable postulates are used to […]