Remarks to the procedure of entry of persons on the temporarily occupied territory of Ukraine and leaving it

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Adressing the need to improve the access of journalists, human rights defenders and lawyers to Crimea

Remark

of the Human Rights Information Centre

to the procedure of entry of persons on the temporarily occupied territory of Ukraine and leaving it

on improving the access for foreign journalists, human rights defender and lawyers to Crimea

 

(resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine

from June 4, 2015 №367 with changes applied on September 16, 2015(resolution №722)

To provide notification procedure instead of procedure of acquiring permission of entry for foreign journalists, human rights defenders and lawyers to Crimea. In other words, if a foreign citizen who is a lawyer, journalist or a human rights defender is not prohibited from entering Ukraine, then he is allowed to go to Crimea by notifying the government of Ukraine in a prescribed form. This can be an online or messaging system about the purpose of the trip, which can be given to Road Patrol Service or checked online on the day of crossing the checkpoint (the administrative border of the occupied Crimea).

  1. In case of the impossibility of the notification procedure – to create and work out a system of simplified approvals/recommendations for international human rights mission and certain human rights defenders/journalists/lawyers. Who intend to monitor and protect human rights, as well as to cover the situation in Crimea. It is important to have strict protection of the foreigner’s details of obtaining such permission.
  2. To expand the list of grounds required for foreigners to attain permission (p. 21 procedure) – for example, current procedure contains an exhaustive list of categories of foreigners, however it does not mention lawyers, filmmakers, scientists, researchers, etc., whose presence in Crimea is important for documentation and coverage of the human rights situation. It would ideal to make this list of grounds open. Its principle must be not to determine the list of persons who are allowed to enter, but to create an exhaustive list of grounds for refusal of entry for foreigners on the occupied territories.
  3. It is important to have: the written conclusion from the SBGS about the refusal to cross the border. However, the procedure and the decision form requires certain amendments (previously they were carried out by SBGS) – it is necessary to clearly define the exhaustive list of grounds for refusal and therefore the need to specify distinct reasons for refusal, citing the provision of law.
  4. To simplify the procedure of applying for notification/permission for entry to Crimea, in particular, to provide a capability with not only Ukrainian, but any other foreign language (for example, English). Furthermore, to allow applying for entry through the diplomatic/consular embassies of Ukraine abroad and online.