war crimes in Ukraine

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Spiritual Directorate of the Muslims of the Crimea condemns Supreme Court ruling on Soborna Mosque

The Directorate is convinced that the ruling will lead to a new string of court hearings dragging out the process of compelling the Simferopol City Council to conclude a lease agreement for land on which to build an Assembly [Soborna] Mosque

The Spiritual Directorate of the Muslims of the Crimea [the Directorate] on 30 December issued a statement in which it condemned a recent Supreme Court judgment as having been commissioned.  The Directorate was informed on 29 December of the judgment passed by the Chamber for Economic Proceedings of Ukraine’s Supreme Court on 11 December. The latter turned down the Directorate’s application for cassation review of the ruling by the Higher Economic Court of 7 October 2008 according to which the case must again be examined in a first instance court.

The Directorate is convinced that this will lead to a new string of court hearings on compelling the respondent – the Simferopol City Council – to conclude a lease agreement for the land site to build an Assembly [Soborna] Mosque. It believes that the Supreme Court did not even examine the material of the case and that the judgment was signed not only without studying it, but without even reading the text of the cassation application.

The Spiritual Directorate calls upon the President and Prosecutor General to use the powers vested in them by the Constitution and laws of Ukraine and to stop the open discrimination of Crimean Muslims – Ukrainian citizens by the local authorities. 

The Higher Economic Court responded to an application by the Simferopol City Council by sending it for examination to the Economic Court of the Crimea.

The Mayor of Simferopol Gennady Babenko previously suggested holding a city referendum on the issue of whether the Soborna Mosque should be built on the territory at 22 Yaltynska St.  The Mayor claims that the majority of residents would be against it.

This disgraceful saga has been going on for a long time. Please see the references below for a full picture. Very briefly, the Spiritual Directorate submitted all applications and documents for permission to build on Yaltynska St more than three years ago, this entailing considerable expense and effort.  Everything seemed on course until a session of the Simferopol City Council on 10 January 2008 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.  In February the Crimean Economic Court ordered the Simferopol City Council to make an agreement with the Spiritual Directorate of Muslims to allocate the land site at Yaltynska St. for an Assembly Mosque. That same month, 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 Mayor and City Council are fighting hard.

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