The Commission for International Religious Freedom from the United States of America (USCIRF) recommended including Russia in the list of "countries of particular concern" in the matter of ensuring freedom of religion.
April 26, in the annual report, the commission required to “designate Russia as a CPC partly due to its continued use of its “anti-extremism” law as a tool to repeatedly curtail religious freedoms for various faiths”, along with 15 other states, according to the report on the USCIRF website.
Experts noted that Russia is unique among the countries with lack of religious freedom, due to the fact that only Russian government has expanded its repressive policy to the territory of a neighboring state. Thus, the authors of the report pointed to the repression of Muslims in the occupied Crimea.
The Commission also recalls that earlier in April, the Supreme Court of Moscow declared the religious organization "Jehovah's Witnesses" illegal in Russia.
According to the report, in 2017, USCIRF recommends that the State Department again designate the following 10 countries as CPCs: Burma, China, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.
Earlier QHA reported that, on the morning of April 13 in Bakhchysarai (in Russian occupied Crimea) Russian Russian Guard forces together with the OMON broke into the homes of two Crimean Tatars As a result of the searches, 8 Muslims were detained, several more were beaten (one person was hospitalized). The invaders claim that the incident was "planned measures" to "identify and detain persons involved in the activities of an organization banned in Russia." The security forces said that they "seized extremist literature". Later it became known that only one book on Islam had been confiscated.