Religious leaders are awaiting the President's reaction to the synagogue wiretapping
President Volodymyr Zelensky was called on to initiate an investigation into the evidence of the use of unacceptable methods of the Soviet totalitarian regime by law enforcement agencies, including NABU, voiced by Chief Rabbi Moshe Reuven Azman.
“Churches, houses of prayer, synagogues, and mosques are sacred to believers. Therefore, conducting covert investigative actions in those places poses a threat to religious freedom - one of the greatest achievements of democracy,” the heads of denominations state.
Also, they are deeply concerned by Rebbe Azman's examples of persecution of believers based on the civic position of the spiritual leader of their religious community, who had previously exposed subterfuge in NABU's activities.
Heads of various denominations in Ukraine expect President Volodymyr Zelensky to react to Rebbe Azman's remarks on the actions of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU) regarding the facts of persecution of citizens on national and religious grounds.
They believe this situation threatens religious freedom in Ukraine, as well as the legality and supremacy of law in law enforcement agencies. Moreover, it poses a danger to the international reputation of the state.
The appeal was signed by:
- Major Archbishop Sviatoslav, Head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church;
- Mykhailo Panochko, Senior Bishop of the Ukrainian Pentecostal Church;
- Archbishop Klyment, Head of the Crimean Diocese of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine;
- Aider Rustemov, Mufti of the 'Religious Management of Muslims of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea'.
Rebbe Azman first accused NABU of wiretapping the central synagogue in Kyiv in October 2018. Although the bureau denied their involvement, later it was confirmed in the lawsuit known as 'The Golden Mandarin'.
Additionally, the director of the Kharkiv Human Rights Group Yevhen Zakharov stated that NABU detectives go beyond conducting illegal interrogations. They systematically and consistently put pressure on witnesses to induce them to give false testimony, conduct unlawful searches (without a court decision) based on fictitious reasons, illegally confiscate personal belongings, etc.