Public discussion”Freedom of religion in Crimea: the view of human rights activists and religious figures”

The Russian occupation of Crimea has caused numerous violations of freedom of thought, conscience and religion. Enforcement of Russian law significantly worsened the situation for religious communities and associations. Threats include a requirement for re-registration of religious communities and objects of religious significance, coercion to become a Russian citizen, control over the publication and distribution of religious literature, and special rules for missionary activity. One method used to pressure religious groups was the deprivation of ownership of spiritual buildings through physical seizures and decisions taken by courts of the occupying power. It is also common to carry out mass raids on mosques to check Muslim documents during the Jummah prayer (Friday prayer). The number of court cases initiated for belonging to religious organizations recognized in Russia as terrorist or extremist is growing.

Human rights activists and religious figures will gather on November 29 at 11:00 Kyiv time (EET, Eastern European Time) to discuss religious freedom in occupied Crimea and what practical measures the Crimean platform can take.

  • Nicolas Harrocks, Deputy Head of Mission, Chargé d’Affaires of the United Kingdom in Ukraine
  • Anton Korynevych, Permanent Representative of the President of Ukraine to the Autonomous Republic of Crimea
  • Oleksandr Zayets, Chairman of the Board of the Institute for Religious Freedom
  • Olexandra Matviychuk, Chairman of the Board of the Center for Civil Liberties
  • Serhiy Davidis, Member of the Board of the Memorial Human Rights Center
  • Mumine Salieva, Coordinator of the Crimean Childhood Initiative
  • Lilya Gemedzhi, Lawyer of the Crimean Solidarity Initiative
  • Andriy Shchekun, Authorized Representative of the Crimean Diocese of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine
  • Igor Bandura, Deputy Chairman of the All-Ukrainian Union of Evangelical Baptist Churches;
  • Batul Rustamova, press secretary of the Spiritual Administration of Muslims of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea.

To participate in the discussion, please register until November 27 using this form. All registered participants will receive a link to the Zoom conference.

The event is 1 h 30 m long. Working languages are Ukrainian and Russian.

The event is organized by the joint efforts of the Center for Civil Liberties, the Institute for Religious Freedom and the British Embassy in Ukraine in the framework of the Round Table on Religious Freedom in Ukraine.

For additional questions, please contact Natalia Vedeneeva (Center for Civil Liberties): +3800504115205, ccl.org.ua@gmail.com 

For reference: The Round Table on Religious Freedom in Ukraine (ReligiousFreedom.in.ua) is a permanent platform for dialogue between various representatives of civil society, especially between religious and human rights organizations, with the involvement of experts and the authorities. The work of the Round Table is coordinated by the Center for Civil Liberties and the Institute for Religious Freedom.

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