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25.01.2008

For a tolerant Crimea

   

The civic movement “For a tolerant Crimea” has directed an appeal to the Mayor of Simferopol and the deputies of the Simferopol City Council. They state:

“As representatives of the Simferopol community we wish to express our deep concern over your discriminatory behaviour with regard to Muslim and other religious communities in the city. In our view, the refusal by the Simferopol City Council to let a site on Yaltynska St for the construction of a Soborna [assembly] Mosque demonstrates the unwillingness of the Mayor and some of the deputies to heed the views of Simferopol residents and to show respect for the religious and ethnic interests of a considerable part of the population.

We are disturbed that this attitude is typical in relation also to Greek Catholics, Roman Catholics, believers from many Orthodox and Protestant Christian Churches and other communities of religious minorities.

We believe that the actions of the city authorities with regard to Muslims and other religious minorities over the allocation of land for the construction of places of worship is a violation of current legislation and of the Ukrainian Constitution, as well as Ukraine’s international commitments.

We therefore call upon the Mayor of Simferopol and the deputies of the Simferopol City Council to give immediate consideration to this question and lease the land site on Yaltynska St to the Spiritual Directorate of the Muslims of the Crimea for the construction of a Soborna Mosque. We also ask that they review their discriminatory policy towards Muslim and other religious communities of the city.

Since the decisions of the City Council infringed people’s constitutional rights, we plan to seek help from President Yushchenko, National Deputies, and the Human Rights Ombudsperson N Karpachova.

If the appeals of the public and of believers are not heeded by the Simferopol authorities, we will not object if our members take part in the initiatives of a number of political figures, political and civic organizations calling for the early suspension of the authority of the Mayor of Simferopol and the Simferopol City Council

 

Members of the initiative group for creating the civic movement “For a tolerant Crimea”

The Committee for the Monitoring of Press Freedom in the Crimea

The League of Crimean Tatar Lawyers “Initsium”

The Simferopol Media Trade Union

The Crimean Independent Centre of Political Researchers and Journalists

The Association of Crimean Tatar Educational Workers “Maarifchy”

 

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