The ECtHR has held hearings on the Ukraine v. Russia case

The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) in Strasbourg on Wednesday, December 13, held hearings on the case Ukraine v. Russia  The so-called Crimean case is based on three complaints filed by Ukraine with the ECtHR in 2014, 2015 and 2018. The hearing was attended by representatives of the Ukrainian authorities, but Russia as the respondent state did not send its representatives to Strasbourg, Deutsche Welle reported.

Kyiv accuses Moscow of gross violations of several articles of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) in annexed Crimea.

Since the situation in the annexed peninsula is de facto controlled by Moscow, Russia should be held accountable for gross violations of the rights of independent journalists, activists, representatives of the Crimean Tatar community and Ukrainians who openly protested against Russia’s occupation of Crimea, Ukraine’s representatives said in court.

Russia was expelled from the Council of Europe (CoE) in March 2022 for its armed aggression against Ukraine, and officially ceased to be a party to the ECHR on September 16 of the same year. However, “a country that is no longer a member of the CoE is not discharged of its obligations in respect of acts committed before it ceased to be a member of the organization”, the court’s president, Siofra O’Leary, said in her opening remarks.

The ECtHR continues to use a “secure website” to communicate with the Ukrainian and Russian governments on the Crimean case, she said. However, the Russian government does not respond to the letters posted by the court on this site and does not comment on the evidence presented by the plaintiff country. Such behavior of the Russian authorities, according to the rules of the ECtHR, does not automatically lead to the approval of the plaintiff’s complaint, but it is also not a reason to terminate the consideration of the complaint. Therefore, the ECtHR held hearings on the Crimean case without the participation of the Russian side.

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