The Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Thorbjørn Jagland, has announced his decision to send a delegation to Crimea today to assess the human right situation on the peninsula.
“More than 2.5 million people live in Crimea, they are all covered by the European Convention on Human Rights and should be able to benefit from it,” Jagland said.
“However, for more than a year, no delegation from an international organisation has been able to go there.”
“The mission will be conducted with full independence and will not deal with any issue related to the territorial status of Crimea,” Jagland stressed. “It will help us receive clear and comprehensive information on the human rights situation and make sure the people of Crimea are not forgotten.”
The mission's mandate covers all major human rights issues including freedom of expression and media freedom; freedom of association and of assembly; minority rights and prison conditions.
Ambassador Stoudmann will be assisted by three members of the Council of Europe Secretariat.
The mission which starts in Crimea today will conclude with a report and recommendations submitted to the Secretary General in late February or March.