European court: Evidence Russia comitted 'multiple' human rights violations in Crimea

FILE PHOTO: The building of the European Court of Human Rights is seen ahead of the start of a hearing in Strasbourg

PARIS (Reuters) - Russia committed multiple human rights violations in Crimea since it annexed the peninsula in 2014, the European Court of Human Rights(ECHR) said on Tuesday in a case brought by Ukraine.

The breaches include violations of the right to life, the prohibition of inhuman or degrading treatment, freedom of religion and freedom of expression among other rights, the court said in its ruling.

The case also concerns Ukraine’s allegations of a pattern of persecution of Ukrainians for their political stance or pro-Kyiv political activity which occurred predominantly in Crimea but also in other parts of Ukraine or in the Russian Federation.

Russia had previously denied accusations it violated human rights and oppressed political opponents on the peninsula.

"The Court held, unanimously, ... that Russia had to take measures as soon as possible for the safe return of the relevant

prisoners transferred from Crimea to penal facilities located on the territory of the Russian Federation," it said.

The Strasbourg court earlier said the case was not concerned with whether the annexation was lawful under international law but had taken into account Russia's increased military presence in Crimea in January-March 2014 without Ukraine's consent.

(Reporting by Tassilo Hummel, Editing by Domnique Vidalon)