Geneva, March 2, 2018
commends the activities of the Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or
belief and fully supports this important mandate.
Russia continues to use religious repressions in the temporarily occupied
territories of Crimea, Donetsk and Luhansk regions
where religious freedom appears to be at the whim of armed militants
untethered to any legal authority.
example of how religious activists and scholars can fall afoul of the authorities
in the Russian-occupied areas is the case of sixty-three years old professor Ihor Kozlovsky, who in January
2016 was kidnapped by illegal security forces in Donetsk and sentenced to three
years in prison for alleged weapons possession. His only “crime” was civic
activity on behalf of religious groups. He was released only about two months
freedom in Russian-occupied Crimea is seriously curtailed. Although Russian
occupying authorities’ repression of Crimean Tatars is mainly motivated by
political rather than religious concerns, it disrupts Crimean Tatar religious
activities and institutions. Russian authorities have assimilated the spiritual
life of the Muslim Crimean Tatar minority and arrested or driven into exile the
the Russian Federation to fulfill the International
Court of Justice’s order of 19 April 2017 by, in particular, revoking the
decision on banning the activities of Mejlis of the
Crimean Tatar People.
mind of above, we invite the Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or
belief to visit Ukraine, including temporarily occupied territories of Crimea
and Donetsk and Luhansk regions, to estimate the
situation of the right of people living there on freedom of religion or belief.