SIMFEROPOL/AKHMESZHIT (QHA) -

The Spiritual Administration of the Crimean Muslims (Muftiyat) has confirmed reports of the Ay-Vasilya/Vasilyevka mosque in Yalta being visited by officers of the Federal Security Service (FSS).

However, the Muftiyat officials deny the FSS officers made any demands to the Muslim community there.

According to Ayder Adzhimambetov, a spokesperson for Mufti of the Crimean Muslims, the ‘guests’ laid down no conditions for the Muslim community. He went on to say that the community was not forced into having surveillance cameras installed, but ‘rather wanted to have them installed’. Mr Adzhimambetov also denied reports claiming that the FSS wanted the Ay-Vasilya’s Muslim community to get reelected.

"No, the community isn’t getting re-elected but rather getting re-registered in its current make-up. The area’s imam has things under control and the mosque is currently getting renovated. We had visitors, but they didn’t make any demands to the jemaat (community). All they wanted to know was whether the community’s properly registered. There’s no problem with that.” Adzhimambetov is reported as saying.

FSS officers were reported to have arrived at the Ay-Vasilya/Vasilyevka (Yalta) mosque. According to a QHA’s own source, they demanded that surveillance cameras be installed in the mosque for the purported reason of countering terrorism. The source also alleged that the FSS officers talked about the need to create a new Muslim community because the old one would not get re-registered.

“The important thing is that all of the community members will have to show up at the FSS for questioning. And if they see that there are few trusted individuals left after that kind of screening, they will come up with their own list of people to be installed in their place. That’s their way of exercising total control.” the source says.

QHA