All religious communities, except the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (the Moscow Patriarchate), are prosecuted in the occupied territories of Crimea and Donbas.
This was emphasized on October 18 by Igor Prokopchuk, Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the International Organizations in Vienna, at the 1,198th meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council, Ukrinform journalist reports.
“There are ongoing repressions by the occupation authorities in Crimea which saw attacks and expulsion of the priests of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyiv Patriarchate,” he said.
Prokopchuk also emphasized that raids and searches in Crimean Tatar mosques and madrassas, the restriction of the spread of Muslim religious literature under the false pretext of combatting extremism, “are accompanied by gross and systematic violations of human rights.”
The Ukrainian diplomat informed the present representatives of the OSCE member states that, to this day, Russia is opposed to the temporary preventive measures against it adopted by the International Court of Justice in the case of Russia’s violation of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. In particular, the ban on the activities of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people has not been cancelled.
“In the territories of Donbas under the occupation of the Russian Federation, all religious traditions, with the exception of the Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate, are oppressed through persecution, abduction, illegal deprivation of liberty, torture and ill-treatment, and even the killing of members of the clergy and believers, as well as the seizure of church property,” said Prokopchuk.
The Permanent Representative has strongly condemned these manifestations of religious violence and discrimination. “The joint efforts of the international community, including the OSCE, are needed to restore respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in these areas,” he added.