A military invasion would have severe consequences for human rights

A further armed conflict in Ukraine would be devastating for human rights in both countries.

Since Russia illegally occupied Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula in 2014, the situation for human rights, and civil and political rights, has deteriorated rapidly. The occupation of Crimea and the ongoing armed conflict in Ukraine’s east (Donbas) has resulted in the displacement of around 1,5 million people and the deaths of an estimated 15,000 soldiers and civilians. The persecution of journalists, human rights defenders, ethnic minorities, and civic activists has increased significantly since the occupation of Crimea. In the Donbas, freedom of expression is stifled, and journalists are imprisoned for their critical reporting of rights violations.  

“A further Russian invasion of Ukraine would instigate not only a more severe humanitarian crisis, but would also close the space for civil society and human rights defenders to exists and operate. In armed conflict, there is little protection for civil and political rights. Activists’ efforts and activities are always seriously constricted. If Russia invades Ukraine even further, civil society and human rights defenders on both sides will suffer the consequences of the conflict. Civil Rights Defenders expresses its absolute solidarity with human rights defenders in both countries during this tense time”, says Anders L. Pettersson, Executive Director at Civil Rights Defenders. 

As tensions escalate around the Russian military build-up on Ukraine’s borders, Civil Rights Defenders is closely monitoring the developments and will continue to work to ensure the safety of human rights defenders in the region, including through our emergency fund.  

Photo: Sasha Maksymenko, CC BY-SA 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/deed.en, via Wikimedia Commons

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