Police or Inquisition?

This time, the chief of the regional Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Belgorod region, Viktor Plesneev, showed off his intelligence. As reported by RuNews24, he expressed concern about the «Islamization of Belgorod residents» (!), citing the case of a local resident converting to Islam as the reason. It turns out that a local student converted to Islam and went to visit her friend in the North Caucasus. It should be noted that both converting to Islam and traveling within Russia are unquestionable rights of Russian citizens according to its constitution. Article 28 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation states: «Everyone is guaranteed freedom of conscience, freedom of religion, including the right to profess individually or jointly with others any religion or to profess no religion at all, to freely choose, possess and disseminate religious and other beliefs, and to act in accordance with them.» Article 27 of the Constitution establishes: «Everyone lawfully within the territory of the Russian Federation has the right to freely move and choose a place of stay and residence.» Interestingly, it was revealed that the student who converted to Islam did not join any banned extremist or terrorist organization and did not violate any laws. However, this did not stop the chief of police from stating that although «religion is a personal matter for each individual, a sudden change in religion causes concern.» Plesneev unfortunately did not explain on what basis he is concerned about the exercise of Russian citizens’ constitutional right to freedom of conscience and why he decided to perform the role of the inquisition instead of police functions.

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