Pogrebinsky: It’s impossible to protect religious rights under martial law

Political expert Mikhail Pogrebinsky

The UOC should expect problems in those regions where martial law has been declared, says Mikhail Pogrebinsky.

Protecting religious rights where martial law has been declared is simply not possible. This opinion was expressed by a political expert, director of the Kiev Centre for Political Studies and Conflictology Mikhail Pogrebinsky in a special commentary for the UOJ.

According to him, the decision to declare martial law will create problems for the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

“There are already questions about the Pochayev Lavra, there are questions about repressions against though not believers yet but the Orthodox clergy, whom the SBU is attempting to persuade to obey the “Church” which should be created for the Tomos,” the expert noted. “And today there were searches at Vladyka Pavel’s. That is, the process of repression against the canonical Ukrainian Church has begun. Protecting your rights to religious freedom in regions where martial law has been declared is simply impossible, because it will be a violation of the law, and they can legally detain those who will protest, trying to protect churches.”

Pogrebinsky also noted that in the case with Met. Pavel there is no need to declare martial law to organize searches, because "there is an appropriate atmosphere that allows law enforcement agencies to use their authority to put pressure on someone under fake accusations."

“How can you blame Vladyka Paul for inciting interchurch tension? It is just totally impossible. He is protecting his Church. And they do not use the law on martial law, but they use normal Ukrainian laws. He is accused under such and such articles. They are in the Ukrainian laws. But it’s just total lawlessness and the use of impunity in the situation created by the media,” the political analyst said.

As experts explained earlier, the declaration of martial law in Ukraine does not restrict the right to freedom of religion but limits the right to street religious events or processions. Moreover, political analysts note that martial law can be used to confront opponents of the creation of the SLC.

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