Invaders raid a mosque in temporarily occupied Simferopol
This was reported by the association "Crimean Solidarity".
According to the human rights association, Crimean Tatars have been building the mosque for 16 years with donations from Crimean residents. "They (the security forces) arrived during Friday prayers," said a journalist.
Crimean Solidarity reports that the passports of all mosque visitors were checked. If someone didn't have their passport, they were required to inform their relatives to bring the documents to the mosque for personal data verification. At the time of the raid, there were approximately 200 people inside the building.
"Two paddy wagons arrived. Their actions were accompanied by passport control. According to eyewitnesses, passports were photographed and supposedly compared with some database. People were detained for over an hour," the correspondent reported.
The public association states that illegal "police officers" had previously conducted a check at the mosque in January 2023. During the operation, the Russians drew up an administrative protocol against the imam under Article 5.26 of the Code of Administrative Offenses of the Russian Federation, which pertains to "illegal missionary activity."
After the preliminary inspection, a representative of the so-called "Religious Administration of Muslims of Crimea and Sevastopol," established by the occupiers, stated that the formation did not control the mosque.
"At the moment, Suvuk-Dere has no connection with the Religious Administration of Muslims of Crimea and Sevastopol. No imam has been appointed there. The land and the building have not been registered or transferred to the Religious Administration of Muslims of Crimea and Sevastopol," responded the deputy "mufti" in temporarily occupied Crimea.
Similar actions have been carried out in Crimea before, in other mosques as well. In July and October 2019, law enforcement officers raided the mosque in the temporarily occupied village of Zarechnoye in the Simferopol district. The mosque's imam, Arsen Kantemirov, was also charged under the article on conducting "illegal missionary activities," but the case was later closed due to the expiration of the statute of limitations for administrative liability.
In April 2023, the Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe, Dunja Mijatović, published a report titled "The Struggle of Crimean Tatars for Human Rights." In it, she noted that Crimean Tatars in Crimea, especially those who oppose the illegal annexation of Crimea or express dissent on other issues, face numerous serious human rights violations, persecution, discrimination, and stigmatization by the Russian occupying authorities.