On November 9, in response to a statement by the NGO "Public Advocacy", criminal proceedings were opened on violations of the rights of the UOC faithful during the All-Ukrainian Cross Procession that took place in July 2016, reports the website of the human rights organization.
Human rights activists note that the need to appeal on their behalf to law enforcement bodies in connection with the events of 2016 arose because there was no reaction to the statements of believers on this issue. "Considering that the rhetoric of hatred on religious grounds is a socially dangerous phenomenon, we have sent official statements to the law enforcement bodies in order to give the state system an opportunity to start official investigations," says the website of the "Public Advocacy".
"As repeatedly reported by the media, during the Cross Procession advancing through the town of Borispol, believers of the UOC were blocked by aggressively-minded individuals who shouted insults at the believers and threw various objects at them. These actions were accompanied by threats against believers. Thus, unidentified persons, acting unlawfully, intentionally, with the use of threats, insulted the feelings of believers in connection with their religious beliefs, which, in accordance with Article 161 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine, is a crime," the human rights organization stresses.
Human rights defenders have promised that the investigation will be monitored within the framework of the international monitoring procedure.
Recall that in 2016, the All-Ukrainian Cross Procession of peace, love and prayer for Ukraine took place, for which the Beatitude Metropolitan Onufry of Kiev and All Ukraine, called believers.
Borispol deputy Yaroslav Godunok in August 2016 was tried for attacks on the All-Ukrainian religious procession.
On July 22, 2016 deputies of the Borispol City Council organized an extraordinary meeting, which banned the passage of the prayer procession through the town. Later the ban was cancelled by a court decision, as it violates the Constitution of Ukraine.
According to the politologist, the authorities put pressure on believers and the media: on January 25, 2016, the Security Service officers searched the UOJ journalist and the priest who participated in the organization of the All-Ukrainian Cross Procession.
In 2017, Archbishop Eulogius of Sumy and Akhtyrka had to apply to the NGO "Public Advocacy" in connection with the illegal ban the city executive committee of the traditional religious procession.
Politologist Andrei Zolotarev described such actions by the Sumy authorities as outright discrimination and a "test case" within the framework of a methodical narrowing of the activities of the UOC.