Ukraine disrespects principle of non-refoulement – statement by Ashton, Fule

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Aug. 18, 2012 12:36
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Stefan Ful and Catherine Ashton.
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The European Union is deeply concerned about Ukraine's extradition of a refugee to Russia, which is a breach of the country's commitments to the principle of non-refoulement.

The spokespersons of Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the Commission, and Stefan Fule, the EU Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighborhood Policy, said this in a joint statement issued on August 17.

"High Representative Catherine Ashton and Commissioner Stefan Fule are deeply concerned at news that an individual from the Russian Federation (Republic of Ingushetia) recognized as a refugee under international law was extradited from Ukraine on August15," the statement reads.

According to the EU officials, they fully support the conclusion of Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) that this case demonstrates a breach in the obligation to respect the principle of non-refoulement.

The high representative and the commissioner also noted that the action plan on visa liberalization under the EU-Ukraine visa dialogue includes a number of commitments by Ukraine relating to adoption of asylum legislation in line with international and EU standards, including protecting the rights of asylum seekers and refugees.

"It is regrettable that in this case Ukraine appears not to have respected these commitments, despite repeated and explicit requests in the last weeks from both UNHCR and the EU," reads the statement.



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