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Court upholds Crimean Muslims over land for the Soborna Mosque

15.02.2008   

The Crimean Economic Court has ordered the Simferopol City Council to conclude a lease agreement within ten days with the Spiritual Directorate of the Muslims of the Crimea for the landsite on Yaltynska St for the building of an Assembly [Soborna] Mosque.

This was reported by the Deputy Mufti of the Crimea dealing with construction and administration, Dzhemil Bebyshev, who said that the court had passed this ruling after hearing all parties to the conflict.  UNIAN was unable to find anybody in the Economic Court or the Simferopol City Council to comment.

As reported here already, the issue of land for a Soborna Mosque has been fraught for a number of years now.  The Spiritual Directorate submitted all applications and documents for permission to build on Yaltynska St two years ago, this entailing considerable expense and effort.

On 10 January this year, a session of the Simferopol City Council passed a decision to change the location, allocating a different site.

The Crimean Prosecutor registered a protest in support of the Spiritual Directorate’s claim for the site on Yaltynska St. 

At this site, on 12 February, Crimean Tatars launched an initiative to gather stones for the building. They called on Muslims and other residents of the Crimea to bring one stone each. The organizers explained that their purpose was not to collective material for construction but to demonstrate to the authorities the Crimean Tatars’ unity and determination.

The First Deputy Head of the Mejilis Refat Chubarov has stated that the construction of the Soborna Mosque will commence only after the land is formally allocated to them. The Simferopol City Council has asserted that the stone-gathering initiative is unauthorized.

Based on material at www.crimea.unian.net

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