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  • » 10/16/2014, 00.00

    UKRAINE - RUSSIA

    Ultimatum to Crimea’s Muslims: Three months to hand over banned Islamic texts



    The pro-Moscow president suspends police searches in Muslim homes and gives a December deadline for compliance with Russian law: "Some religious texts are prohibited." Meanwhile, the Tatars denounce the campaign. Since annexation to Russia at least 18 members of the community have "disappeared".

    Moscow (AsiaNews) - The authorities of Crimea (now Russian) have given Muslims three months to voluntarily surrender the literature on Islam, authorized under Ukraine but outlawed by the Russian Federation.

    "We call on Muslims in possession of this material to deliver it to the religious authorities over the next three months," said the president of the Crimea, Sergei Aksenov, as reported by Interfax. Until the end of December the police will not confiscate the "forbidden literature", but on the first of January, "everything must be in compliance with Russian norms". He guaranteed that the list of banned books will be published in the press and there will be an awareness raising campaign among the local population.

    Since September, several members of the Muslim community in different areas of the peninsula on the Black Sea have reported police raids in their homes in the hunt for "forbidden literature." The same reason was given by the authorities of Simferopol in September to justify their raid and then closure of the office of the Majlis, the 'representative body of Crimean Tatars.

    This Muslim community represents 12% of the local population and from the beginning has strongly opposed to the annexation of the Crimea to Russia, confirmed after a controversial referendum. Aksenov has promised to suspend the raids and granted a 'transition' period to comply with Russian laws.  

    But the Crimean Tatars, who were victims of Stalinist deportations, are on their guard. In recent months, their representatives have denounced a real campaign of persecution, made up not only of raids and intimidation, but also of kidnapping and physical assaults.

    The first of October a 25 year-old Tatar who had disappeared under mysterious circumstances on September 29 was found dead in an abandoned sanatorium in Evpatoria. One of the historical leaders of the Crimean Tatars, the former head of the Majlis Mustafa Zhemilev, denounced in front of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, the disappearance of 18 Tatars "since the peninsula was united with Russia."

     

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    See also

    18/03/2014 RUSSIA - UKRAINE
    Putin's Russia recognizes the Crimea and its request for annexation
    The EU and the U.S. launch sanctions against 21 Russian and pro-Russian Ukrainian representatives. They include Yanukovych, but not Putin. Kiev is ready to dialogue with Moscow, but rejects the annexation. The problems of the present and the immediate future: Ukrainian soldiers in the Crimea, the Tatars, the peninsula’s economy heretofore dependent on Ukraine. Moscow has sent 15 billion rubles to the new independent state.

    08/09/2016 09:22:00 RUSSIA - UKRAINE
    Crimean Tatar leader Ilmi Umerov released

    The activist had been hospitalized in a psychiatric clinic under court order, where he spent three weeks despite his serious health condition. Lawyers: the next step is to obtain the removal of separatism charges against him.

     



    10/08/2017 21:41:00 RUSSIA – UKRAINE
    Kyiv slams Moscow after it closes Kerch Strait to build a bridge between Russia and Crimea

    Moscow unilaterally closes the international waterway to start construction. Only Russian ships can now sail through it. The closure is a serious blow to Ukraine’s fragile economy. The cities of Mariupol and Berdiansk, along the northern shore of the Sea of Azov, are the largest exporters of Ukrainian steel to the West. Russia’s action contravenes a treaty signed by Russia and Ukraine in 2003. In 2014 Russia annexed Crimea.



    16/05/2016 10:52:00 RUSSIA - UKRAINE
    A song about the Crimean Tatars wins 2016 Eurovision. Russia outraged

    Ukrainian singer Jamala won the song contest with a song about mass deportations wanted by Stalin, with an implicit condemnation of the annexation of the peninsula by Moscow and the pressure that the Tatars are currently experiencing. The Russian competitor, great favorite, finishes third. For Moscow it is a "political victory".



    07/03/2014 UKRAINE - RUSSIA
    Crimea: Church and pro-Ukraine Crimeans demonstrate for peace
    The Orthodox Metropolitan of Simferopol prays for Ukraine's territorial integrity. Crimean Muslims also demonstrate. Tensions persist between pro-Russia and pro-Ukraine Crimeans. As US and EU threaten Putin with financial sanctions if he does not accept negotiations with Ukraine, fears rise in the Baltic republics.



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