27 Sep 2017 17:15

Russia to complain to UN leadership about Crimea human rights report - diplomat

MOSCOW. Sept 27 (Interfax) - Russia intends to complain to the UN Secretary-General and directly to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights after the publication of a report citing multiple human rights violations in Crimea, a high-ranking Russian diplomat said.

"We will complain directly to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, who is behind the preparation of this report, and will tell him that such actions undermine confidence in his office. And we will also complain to the UN itself and to the Secretary-General," Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov told Interfax.

"This document has been composed in keeping with the best traditions of political screeds dealing with this subject. It contains a watery basis in fact and groundless accusations that Russia violated its obligations regarding international humanitarian law and human rights. We see all of this as a desire to manipulate facts and information from unverified sources. And we believe on the whole that such steps by the High Commissioner for Human Rights undermine confidence not only in this institution but, in particular, in its activities on the Ukrainian track, including attempts to distort the real state of affairs in Crimea," Gatilov said.

The report was drawn up in keeping with a UN General Assembly resolution adopted two years ago, which cannot serve as a basis for such investigations, he said.

"This resolution was of a purely political nature, and we and a number of other countries have not recognized it and have never voted for it. The report says that the information was collected, as is written in this document, by correspondence, through some interviews and inquiries, and it doesn't cite the exact number of meetings with either the victims of or witnesses to human rights violations, and there are no specific names. All of this makes one think that it lacks the convincing, factual basis it should have," he said.