As we have informed, on 8 August the so-called “employees of the center for countering extremism” broke into the premises of St. Demetrius Solunskyy Monastery of the Crimean Diocese of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine of the in the village of Balky, Bilogirsk district of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and forced the abbot to stop the morning service. Representatives of the occupying power tried to justify their illegal actions by saying that the prayer was conducted in violation of Russian law.
Prosecutor’s Office of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol on 9 August 2021 began criminal proceedings on the fact of illegal obstruction of religious rituals on the territory of the temporarily occupied peninsula (part 1 of article 180 of criminal Code of Ukraine) Pre-trial investigation will be conducted by the Main Directorate of the National Policy in the AR of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol (details are on a link: https://bit.ly/3jInRDm .
Such actions of the occupying administration are direct violation of International humanitarian law and another confirmation of discrimination and policy of expelling the Ukrainian religious community from Crimea.
We call on the Russian Federation to stop the illegal persecution of citizens of Ukraine on ethnic of religious grounds in the temporarily occupied Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city Sevastopol and to ensure freedom of religion.