Tuesday, October 3, 2023

    Invaders continue oppression on religious grounds in Crimea – ombudsman

    Dmytro Lubinets, the Verkhovna Rada Commissioner for Human Rights, reported that Russia continues persecution on religious grounds in the occupied Crimea. According to him, the invaders have initiated more than 100 proceedings against the inhabitants of the peninsula. Radio Svoboda wrote about this with reference to the ombudsman’s Telegram channel.

    “Russia continues repression on religious grounds in the Ukrainian Crimea. To date, the Russian Federation has instituted more than 100 criminal cases against Crimeans on religious grounds, 17 of them against representatives of Jehovah’s Witnesses, Lubinets noted.

    He emphasized that persecution of members of religious organizations is a violation of Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 9 of the Convention on the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.

    “Russia continues to ignore UN General Assembly Resolution 74/168, in which the international community calls on the Russian Federation to ensure freedom of religion and belief without discrimination,” the human rights commissioner added.

    It is worth noting that in Crimea, many religious organizations are persecuted by the occupiers. First of all, this concerns the local OCU diocese, which the enemy deprived of its property, the Muslim community, Greek Catholics, and Jehovah’s Witnesses. Not the only organization that does not have problems with the occupation administration is the local diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church, which until 2022 had been formally subordinated to the UOC MP and openly cooperated with the invaders since 2014.

    It should be recalled that the Russian Orthodox Church is strengthening its influence on the lands of Ukraine captured by Russian forces through the visit of its bishop to the cities of Donbas and Crimea.