In violation of international humanitarian law, the Russian Federation keeps on enforcing the norms of its legislation in the occupied territory of Ukraine, including for the persecution of religious organizations and their members.
Since the beginning of the occupation, the Crimean Human Rights Group (CHRG) has been recording how the Russian “authorities” of the peninsula have been systematically violating freedom of religion.
On November 3, 2020, Kristina Troyan, ‘justice of peace’, sentenced a resident of Kerch – Mr. S. G.Alekseev to an administrative fine of RUR5,000 under Art. 5.26 of the Code of Administrative Offenses (CoAO) of the Russian Federation (illegal missionary activity) for the distribution of religious literature.
On November 11, Lyudmila Sologub, ‘justice of peace’, fined Imam Abliakim Galiyev RUR5,000 under Art. 5.26 of the RF CoAO for conducting Friday prayers.
On November 19, Svetlana Buylova, ‘justice of peace’, fined Mr.M.E.Ablayev, a resident of Simferopol, RUR5,000 under Art. 5.26 of the RF CoAO.
In November, two new cases under Art. 5.26 of the RF CoAO – against Mr.A.R. Gaziyev and the Muslim community “Menzhab” – were transferred to the Crimean ‘courts of justice’.
In total, by the end of November, the CHRG recorded 104 administrative proceedings in Crimea against religious organizations and their members under Art. 5.26 of RF CoAO. Within the framework of these proceedings, fines were imposed in the amount of at least RUR1,450,500 rubles.
Expert of the Crimean Human Rights Group, analyst Mr.Alexander Siedov points out that such actions of the occupation authorities of Crimea constitute a violation of both the Geneva Convention (IV) and the European Convention on Human Rights, namely Art. 9 (Freedom of thought, conscience and religion).