Ukrainian Court Rejects Detention of Metropolitan Feodosiy

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A Ukrainian court has declined to detain Metropolitan Feodosiy of the Cherkasy Diocese of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC), who is accused of supporting the Russian special military operation, according to Suspilne.media. Metropolitan Feodosiy has been under house arrest for over six months. The prosecutor's office has twice requested a change in the measure of restraint from house arrest to pre-trial detention.

On November 13, another hearing was held in Cherkasy. The prosecution sought detention, alleging that the bishop violated the conditions of house arrest by "arriving at the Cherkasy diocese and conducting services." Metropolitan Feodosiy stated that he did not violate the conditions and only traveled to meet with his lawyer. Throughout the court session, believers gathered for a prayer vigil outside the courthouse.

The defense contends that the current demand to detain the Metropolitan is an attempt at pressure. According to the defense lawyers, there is an effort to intimidate the bishop due to his human rights activities, particularly his recent advocacy for the Ukrainian Orthodox Church at the UN Human Rights Council.

In February, the Security Service of Ukraine accused Metropolitan Feodosiy of supporting the Russian military operation in Ukraine and inciting religious enmity. The court in Cherkasy placed him under house arrest with an electronic monitoring bracelet. The bishop's lawyer later announced plans to appeal. Metropolitan Feodosiy himself has stated that the case against him is political, fabricated, and falsified. In early September, clergy and parishioners of the Cherkasy diocese sent a petition to President Volodymyr Zelensky demanding an end to the criminal prosecution of Metropolitan Feodosiy.

Recently, Metropolitan Feodosiy addressed the UN Human Rights Council via video link, receiving international recognition as a human rights defender. He stated that this status allows him to inform the international community about persecution against the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and actively work to defend the rights and freedoms of believers. He expressed his intention to establish a human rights group to assist persecuted UOC believers.

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