Occupied Crimea Faces Tough Quarantine Restrictions
6 April, 2020

Ukraine’s occupied Crimean peninsula was subjected to new quarantine restrictions on April 2, aimed at restricting the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. These measures include harsh restrictions, such as a restriction on going more than 100 meters from a person’s place of residence, says Crimean lawyer Alexey Ladin.

He says that these restrictions are intended to last until April 6, but that they will probably be extended.

“Starting today, there is a list of orders for raising preparedness. As a result, all public events have been cancelled. April 1 saw additions to these orders, and from April 3 to 6, the territory of Crimea will be under what’s called an ‘enhanced version of quarantine’ – people should stay at their place of residence or registration and not go further than 100 meters from their homes,” said Ladin, adding that in the corresponding order by Russian president Vladimir Putin, violating these quarantine measure could result in fines of up to $390 to $520.

Ladin also said that these measures are worrying due to the procedures in place at prisons and penal colonies.

“In the case of a coronavirus infection in a prison, its spread will be tremendously quick, and the consequences could be terrible,” stated the lawyer, pointing out that under the current restrictions, the only people allowed to move around the regions and towns are people considered “essential” for daily life – and lawyers do not fall into that list.

“It’s completely unclear how lawyers will be able to move around and provide emergency legal aid in cases like one of our clients being detained or arrested,” noted Ladin.

Ladin believes that the implemented measures are a violation of people’s human rights.

“Well, alright, it’s possible to justify these restrictions during a pandemic, but there are an additional raft of laws. For example, the law on fake [news]. It provides enormous fines and even imprisonment for spreading untrustworthy information, but what is untrustworthy information – is not entirely clear. And there’s this feeling that it will actually apply to any spreading of information that doesn’t adhere to official press releases. It’s also unclear how the quarantine-related administrative prosecution will be carried out. There’s a feeling that if it is the same way that with regard to rallies, then there will just be a massive fining of people,” explained the lawyer.

According to the Russian occupying authorities, on April 6, the peninsula had 20 confirmed cases of coronavirus. Additionally, a checkpoint has been established on the Crimean bridge. Anyone entering the peninsula has their temperature, their reason for visiting Crimea, and their contact data checked.