Crimean Muslims protest over repressive measures from authorities


The Mufti of the Crimea

The Spiritual Directorate of Muslims of the Crimea (the Directorate) has addressed an open appeal to the President, Prime Minister, Prosecutor General, Education Ministers both of Ukraine, and for the Crimea.   It states that around a month ago certain State structures in the Crimea began no less than a special operation aimed at destroying Islamic educational establishments – the medres attached to our Directorate.

The Directorate asserts that the initiators of the operation were the enforcement bodies, as well as certain branches of bodies of local self-government and education in the Crimea.

It says that the first target was the Krasnogvardeisk Medrese of Khafiz (Readers of the Koran).  For several months it has been subjected to checks from all kinds of bodies – the sanitary health inspectorate; various commissions made up of representatives of the local authorities, as well as from the local department of education. An act was drawn up demanding that the Medrese close down.  The Directorate says that despite having eliminated the problems pointed to by the sanitary health inspectors, there has been no let up in the demands to close down.

There has also been unprecedented pressure on the parents of students of the Medrese to get their children to stop studying there.   Representatives of various bodies of power – usually inspectors from departments on children’s affairs; the heads of village settlements; staff of law enforcement bodies - have carried out visits to their homes.  The Directorate asserts that these visitors have used threats and blackmail to get the parents to stop sending their children to the Medrese.

The Directorate attaches statements made from parents who have been subjected to such treatment, and describe the pretty devious tactics applied.

The Directorate describes serious pressure and says that these Muslims are being subjected to such treatment because they want to receive religious upbringing. It adds that it is well aware that action on the scale seen could only be with the sanction and instructions of higher bodies.

“Intimidation of Muslim citizens with threats of criminal investigations or of being stripped of their parental rights merely for wanting to receive a religious Muslim education demonstrates that officials from the above-mentioned bodies are ready for any violations of the law and official crimes.”

The Directorate complains that this treatment is while the Crimea Prosecutor and Security Service have shown total indifference to people the Directorate considers to be sectarian extremists. Not one of the Directorate’s appeals on this subject, it says, has been headed.

The letter is signed by the Mufti of the Crimean Muslims haji Emirali Ablaev

From the letter posted here


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