Marieluise Beck (Germany, ALDE), Rapporteur of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) on “Legal remedies to human rights violations on the Ukrainian territories outside the control of the Ukrainian authorities” has sounded the alarm regarding the humanitarian situation in the separatist-held regions of Ukraine.
“The arbitrary expulsion of humanitarian organisations such as ‘Doctors without Borders’ by the de facto authorities in Donetsk and Luhansk exposes vulnerable populations to grave risks. Seriously ill persons are deprived of vital medicine, including special antibiotic treatment for hundreds of patients suffering from multi-resistant tuberculosis. The irresponsible action of the ‘warlords’ risks creating new resistance, which ultimately threaten the life and health of all of us,” said the rapporteur.
Ms Beck recalled that “under international humanitarian law, as the International Committee of the Red Cross recently recalled, the holders of de facto authority are legally responsible for the welfare of the population in the areas under their control. The humanitarian situation in the two separatist-held regions is extremely worrying, as the Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights pointed out in a recently published report.”
Addressing also the Russian Government, she added: “The de facto authorities clearly owe their power to the backing received from Russia. It is therefore also up to Russia to ensure that the requirements of humanitarian law are respected by their protégés. I should also like to draw attention to a fact that has been somewhat marginalised in public perception by the terrible events in Paris – namely that serious violations of the Minsk II ceasefire agreement occur on a daily basis in both separatist-held regions, as reported on a daily basis by the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM), which also frequently complains about obstacles placed in their path by the de facto authorities.”