10:33 Aug. 8, 2016
Crimean Tatar imams are said to have been warned on possible ban of funeral and commemoration rites
Religious Muslim rites of Crimean Tatars may be recognized as illegal. This is according to the Mufti of Clerical Direction of Ukrainian Muslims "Umma" Sayid Ismahilov. Russian-occupied authorities have warned the Crimean Tatar imams the traditional ceremonies like funeral or commemoration of the dead might be banned.
Mass gatherings on purpose of reading the Koran or praying for the deceased have never been forbidden even in the Soviet period, claims Ismahilov. He also adds the Moslems were not hindered to conduct their traditional religious rites even when there was no single mosque in the whole Ukraine.
"Russia's interference into religious life of the people will result in no more than sooner collapse of the imaginary empire," says Ismahilov. He claims no authorities are entitled to deprive people of their national and religious identity.
As reported earlier, Russia started increasing military presence in the occupied Crimea placing large amounts of military hardware near the towns of Dzhankoy and Armyansk in the northern part of the peninsula. Along with it Russian occupation authorities blocked access to Crimea from mainland Ukraine.