Analytical Review on Situation Regarding Freedom of Religion and Beliefs in Occupied Crimea

(April 2014 – January 2018)

The review has summed up outcomes of the consistent and comprehensive work of the Crimean Human Rights Group on monitoring and documenting the facts of violating the freedom of religion and beliefs on the territory of Crimea after the occupation and unlawful annexation of the peninsula. The review is made in line with the international human rights law standards, following the relevant documents. The review includes also conclusions and recommendations for international organizations, authorities of Ukraine and authorities of the Russian Federation.

The situation of religious communities and organizations has changed substantially to the worse due to applying the Russian laws on the territory of Crimea. They faced a need to register mandatorily the communities as organizations and to register religious facilities, a monitoring over publishing and distributing religious printed materials, high penalties for a failure to meet requirements on registering the religious organizations and for activities of communities without state registration as well as non-compliance with requirements to the religious printed materials (labelling, admissible places for distribution or sales).

The information was collected and reviewed, with involvement of ‘field’ monitors in Crimea and experts in freedom of religion and beliefs. Among the information sources were court judgments, open source publications, information of witnesses and victims of human rights disrespect.