Thank you, Chair.
I'd like to follow-up on Mr. Levitt's question with regard to Crimea. You may not be aware that Mr. Levitt also chairs the Subcommittee on International Human Rights of the foreign affairs committee. A previous generation of Canadian parliamentarians—you may have heard of Irwin Cotler—internationally championed the cause of the Kremlin's prisoners of conscience during Soviet times.
The current Putin Kremlin regime doesn't have that many Russian prisoners of conscience. Mostly they are eliminated, assassinated, as in the case of Nemtsov, including some 150 investigative journalists who've been assassinated since Putin first came to power. But there are prisoners of conscience and they're mostly Ukrainians who've been kidnapped from Ukraine, extrajudicially arrested, kidnapped, tortured, and put on show trial.
I believe it's an area of study that our human rights committee could potentially look at. I know they have many areas of study. Unfortunately, the world has many human rights situations. Within the Ukrainian Verkhovna Rada is there an equivalent committee or subcommittee of human rights that our committee could potentially co-operate with to work on the file of people like Mr. Sentsov, a Ukrainian documentary filmmaker and the recipient of this year's PEN/Barbey Freedom to Write Award, who was put on a show trial and sentenced to 20 years in Russian prison.
Is there an opportunity for co-operation between our two parliaments on that very specific case, and more broadly perhaps to take a look at the situation in Crimea from the perspective that it's astounding that in the 21st century, within the borders of Europe, you have a territory that in different ways is being ethnically cleansed. It's not just the Ukrainian minority that you mentioned, but I also know that the Jewish minority has pretty much been completely cleansed in Crimea. Of those who haven't managed to get to Israel, most are IDPs within Ukraine. The situation there is one of ethnic cleansing, ethnic suppression, and of course of people disappearing, and their bodies sometimes being found with markings of torture. For the specific individual cases of prisoners of conscience who've been kidnapped from Ukraine into Russia, and also the general human rights situation, is there a committee that the subcommittee could potentially co-operate with on a project?