Taras Kremin appealed to the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities Kairat Abdrakhmanov to join the monitoring of ensuring the rights of Ukrainian-speaking citizens and the language rights of national minorities in the occupied territories of Ukraine.
This was discussed during an online meeting between the State Language Protection Commissioner and the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities which took place on March 4.
"I’d kindly ask You, Mr. High Commissioner, to use all the tools and resources that are at Your disposal to monitor the enforcement of rights of Ukrainian-speaking citizens and language rights of national minorities in the occupied territories of Ukraine", - Taras Kremin said.
Taras Kremin informed that the Review on the Restriction of the Functioning of the State Language in the Temporarily Occupied Territories of Ukraine recently presented by him had indicated the catastrophic situation with the Ukrainian language in the occupied territories of Donetsk, Luhansk regions and in Crimea. “The Ukrainian language is actually banned there. Children who want to get into higher education institutions in the territory controlled by Ukrainian authorities are forced to study Ukrainian in secret in order to pass the External Independent Evaluation and get an opportunity to receive education. The same tragic situation is observed in the territory of the occupied Crimea with the Crimean Tatar language. “Linguocide” is one of the greatest risks in the humanitarian sphere associated with Russian aggression which has been going on for 7 years already”, - he emphasized.
The Commissioner also pointed out that his task was to protect the state language and the rights of citizens to receive information and services in the state language. “This does not level down the rights of people speaking other languages in any way. Currently no facts of discrimination against citizens who speak other languages in Ukraine have been fixed. Instead, we’ve got numerous facts from the services sector, for example, when citizens are harassed and humiliated for using the Ukrainian language”, - Taras Kremin mentioned.
The parties also discussed the issue of learning from the experience of other countries in the field of protection of the state language and cooperation with representatives of the Ukrainian diaspora.
Taras Kremin and Kairat Abdrakhmanov expressed their hope for further fruitful cooperation.