Followers of Sheikh Kunta-Haji Kishiev in a mosque. Photo by the press service of the Spiritual Administration of Muslims of Chechnya"

17 May 2018, 21:49

Collection of data on religious views alerts residents of Chechnya

Interviews about the support of various Islamic wirds (religious trends) of males in Grozny have caused misunderstanding; people do not want to deal with the authorities, residents of Chechnya have stated. In their turn, experts assert that the lawfulness of such surveys and the reliability of received data causes doubts.

Schools have begun collecting data about the belonging of heads of pupils' families to various wirds. Class teachers ask schoolchildren to indicate the names and telephone numbers of their fathers, specifying their belonging to the wird; the aim of such interviews was not explained. The collected information will be delivered to the authorities of Chechnya.

Residents of Chechnya are negative to this campaign, while experts believe that the Chechen authorities' interest in people's spiritual contradicts the secular nature of the state, the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent reports.

Tatiana Lokshina, a rights defender and Director of the Human Rights Watch (HRW) in Russia, believes that residents of Chechnya have the right to ask and know the reasons for collecting data on families' belonging to wirds.

"Obviously, this runs against people's right to the freedom of conscience and religion, and the right to privacy," she explained, adding that it is not worth trusting the data gathered in the course of compulsory interviews.

Ms Lokshina has also pointed out that Chechen authorities had earlier shown excessive interest in the religious life of their citizens.

Full text of the article is available on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’.

Source: CK correspondents

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