The communication of the Russian Federation by the European Court of Human Rights in the case of the eviction of the Crimean diocese of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine from its last temple on the peninsula is an important step in the legal work to protect our citizens affected by the occupation.
Moreover, the pressure and actual destruction of this religious community is one way to drive the Ukrainian community out of Crimea and a manifestation of the systematic criminal policy of the Russian Federation to change the demographic composition of the peninsula.
The law enforcement agencies of Ukraine were already assessing those crimes by the occupying authorities and, equally important, the legal assessment of those facts would be made by the European Court of Human Rights, whose jurisdiction the Russian Federation recognized, the Fist Deputy Permanent Representative of the President of Ukraine in the AR of Crimea Darya Svyrydova said.
In his commentary IA «The Voice of Crimea» Archbishop Klyment also appeals to the Ukrainian authorities: «European Court of Human Rights invites Ukraine to enter the case as the third party. Therefore, I am officially addressing the Government of Ukraine. Believers of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church for six years, without any support from the Ukrainian authorities, are fighting to keep the Ukrainian Church in Crimea. This is the first ECHR case that raises a number of issues related to the violation of the right to religious freedom. Accordingly, ECHR’s request to the Government of Ukraine for the opportunity to enter the case by a third party and to represent the interests of the Crimean Diocese of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, I request the Government of Ukraine to prepare all the necessary documents to do so, to represent in the ECHR the interests of believers of the Crimean diocese of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church », the Metropolitan stated.
We recall that starting 2016 the directorate of Crimean Dioses of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church kept informing European Court of Human Rights about all violations against believers in Crimea, including violations of the rights to religious freedom and beliefs. It related to capture of the churches in the village of Perevalne and Sevastopol in 2014. Capture of the first floor of the Eparchy directorate in 2017; legal proceedings of the Ministry of Property and Land Management against the St. Volodymyr and Olga Cathedral in the city of Simferopol.