Ukraine lodges ECHR application against Russia amid rising tensions
STRASBOURG, March 14 (RAPSI) – Ukraine launched an inter-state complaint against Russia with the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), and in doing so, requested that the court apply certain interim measures, according to a statement issued by the court Thursday.
ECHR President Dean Spielmann has called on both Russia and Ukraine to refrain from engaging in military actions and taking other measures that may threaten to violate the rights guaranteed to the civilian population under the European Convention of Human Rights (Convention).
According to the statement, the ECHR President called upon both Russia and Ukraine, “to refrain from taking any measures, in particular military actions, which might entail breaches of the Convention rights of the civilian population, including putting their life and health at risk.”
The court further instructed both Russia and Ukraine to advise the court as soon as possible of any measures taken to insure against violations of the Convention.
Article 33 of the Convention provides that any contracting party can refer alleged breaches of the Convention by another contracting party to the ECHR.
Unrest in Kiev erupted anew in February as thousands of people marched on the parliament building, where a standoff was taking place over proposed constitutional reforms. The violence that ensued resulted in dozens of deaths and hundreds of injuries.
On February 22, Ukraine's Verkhovna Rada (parliament) impeached Viktor Yanukovich and amended the constitution. Presidential authority was assigned to parliament speaker Alexander Turchinov and a presidential election was scheduled for May 25.
Russia has marked the events that have unfolded in Ukraine recently a coup, and the armed seizure of power. President Vladimir Putin said during a press conference earlier in March that Viktor Yanukovich, who fled to Russia, remains Ukraine’s legitimate president.
Yanukovich said earlier at a press conference that he was forced to leave Ukraine under a threat to his life.
Crimea, a peninsula of some 2 million people, has resisted the authority of the leadership that came to power in Kiev last month. Crimea’s Supreme Council on Tuesday adopted a declaration supporting independence from Ukraine. Crimea will be declared an independent state with a republican form of government, if the referendum set for March 16 will result in the decision to join the Russian Federation.