25 August 2005, 00:29
Muslims want to leave
About 400 Muslims in Kabardino-Balkaria have organised a sort of protest action. They wrote a letter addressed to the Russian president, the Russian government, the Russian Foreign Ministry, the Russian Commissioner on Human Rights, and a number of other officials in which they raise the issue of their leaving the country in the light of permanent violation of their constitutional, civil, and religious rights.
"The believers have been stripped of mosques. They are stripped of the right for group prayer. When they gather at someone's place for prayer, searches begin there and persecution of the host begins. Abductions of Muslims by people in masks with submachine guns, torture, and degrading treatment have become usual things. For the Organised Crime Combating Department of the Kabardino-Balkaria Internal Affairs Ministry there are no such legal concepts as summons, lawyers, or the Criminal Procedure Code," said Larissa Dorogov, the lawyer who prepared the letter.
The authors of the address believe they are prompted response measures, but they reject any violence, so there is only one thing left for them - leaving the country.
The Muslims of Kabardino-Balkaria are ready to go to live in any Muslim or non-Muslim state where human rights are respected.
Author: Lyudmila Maratova, CK correspondent;