OMON vehicle driving into the courtyard. Photo by Konstantin Volgin for the Caucasian Knot

17 September 2020, 11:04

Crimean Tatars rally in Rostov-on-Don after verdict in "Hizb ut-Tahrir"* case

The Southern Regional Military Court in Rostov-on-Don has sentenced seven defendants in the "Bakhchysarai" case of the "Hizb ut-Tahrir" (treated as a terrorist organization and banned in Russia by the court) to long prison terms, while acquitting one of them. A support group for political prisoners held an action with posters in support of the convicts.

According to investigators, in 2016-2017, Marlen Asanov, Memet Belyalov and Timur Ibragimov created, in the city of Bakhchysarai, a structural unit of the "Hizb ut-Tahrir"*. The defendants promoted the ideas of the organization among local population, recruited people, and also conducted secret activities "in order to create conditions for the violent seizure of power and change the Russia's constitutional order," the prosecution's version was reported by the press service of the Southern Regional Military Court. The defendants have completely denied their guilt.

On September 16, the above court found seven defendants guilty and sentenced them to imprisonment in a maximum security colony for the terms ranging from 13 to 19 years. One of the defendants, Ernes Ametov, was found innocent, the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent reports.

After the verdict was announced, the Crimean Tatars who came to support the defendants, being outside the courthouse gates, put on T-shirts with defendants' photos and stood in a chain near the fence. Some of them took out posters reading "Talking about Islam is not terrorism."

It should be noted here that the Human Rights Centre (HRC) "Memorial" has announced the eight defendants in the "Bakhchysarai" case to be political prisoners.

* "Hizb ut-Tahrir" is a terrorist organization banned in Russia by the court

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on September 16, 2020 at 11:50 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Author: Konstantin Volgin; Source: CK correspondent

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