01:04 GMT20 June 2021
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    Experts of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) were concerned that the prosecution tended to downplay charges and prosecuted hate crimes as hooliganism in Ukraine, according to official statement.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Kiev's downplaying of racial discrimination-related crimes and charges causes concern, the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) said Friday.

    "Committee Experts… were concerned that the prosecution tended to downplay charges and prosecuted hate crimes as hooliganism. The law which raised maximum sentences for crimes on the grounds of racial, national or religious discrimination was not effectively put in place and the practice of down-sizing of the offenses was often the rule. The decrease in the number of reported hate crimes was not a necessarily positive phenomenon as it could indicate that victims encountered different obstacles in reporting the crimes, including administrative, financial, or linguistic obstacles," CERD said in a report on Ukraine's implementation of the provisions of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD).

    Ukraine's twenty-second and twenty-third periodic report was made during the 90th CERD session that took place in Geneva from August 2-26.

    CERD is a body of independent experts which normally holds two sessions per year consisting of three weeks each.

    ICERD is a third-generation human rights instrument, which commits its members to the elimination of racial discrimination and the promotion of understanding among all races, also requiring its parties to outlaw hate speech and criminalize membership in racist organizations. It was adopted and opened for signature by the UN General Assembly in December 1965, and entered into force in January 1969.

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    Tags:
    hate crimes, UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD), United Nations, Ukraine
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