March 16, 2021. OTTAWA. Seven years ago, on March 16, 2014, following its invasion of Crimea, Russia staged an illegal and illegitimate “referendum.”
Held under the barrels of Russian guns and in the presence of the Russian military, the “referendum” was an egregious violation of international law. Canada, the United States, the European Union and the international community do not recognize this sham “referendum.”
Crimea was, is, and will always remain an integral part of Ukraine.
Since the beginning of Russia’s occupation of Crimea seven years ago, Russia has instituted a regime of terror, systematically targeting the Indigenous Crimean Tatar People, ethnic Ukrainians, and anyone who opposes Russia’s occupation. There are currently at least 109 Ukrainian Crimean political prisoners in Russian captivity, being held either in occupied Crimea or in Russia. Of these 109 political prisoners, 75 are Crimean Tatars.
In early March, the Ukrainian Canadian Congress (UCC) provided the Government of Canada with a list of 16 Russian and occupation officials involved in three prominent cases of human rights abuses. The UCC calls on the Government of Canada to use the Magnitsky Act to immediately implement sanctions against these officials.
The brief presented to the Government of Canada is available here: UCC Brief – Human rights violations in Russian-occupied Crimea and Canada’s Sanctions Policy
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