RUSSIA: Heavy sentences against real and alleged Hizb ut-Tahrir members
Sova Center (16.12.2019) – https://bit.ly/38N0GkP – (…) November brought new cases and sentences against real and alleged members of Hizb ut-Tahrir, a radical party banned in Russia as terrorist – in our opinion, without sufficient reason. We view charges of terrorism against Hizb ut-Tahrir followers imposed merely on the basis of their party activity as inappropriate, since the party itself was never known to be involved in terrorism.
We learned in November that, in October, the Judicial Chamber on Cases of the Military of the Supreme Court of Russia upheld the sentence issued in June in the case of 50-year-old Novosibirsk resident Kabul Usenbaev. At that time, the Far Eastern District Military Court found him guilty of participating in the activities of a terrorist organization (Article 205.5 Part 2 of the Criminal Code) and sentenced him to 13 years in prison in a maximum security penal colony.
In mid-November, the Southern (North Caucasus) District Military Court in Rostov-on-Don delivered the sentence in the Yalta case against Hizb ut-Tahrir members. Muslim Aliev and Inver Bekirov were found guilty under Article 205.5 Part 1 of the Criminal Code (organizing the activities of a terrorist organization) and Article 278 of the Criminal Code with the use of Article 30 Part 1 of the Criminal Code and Article 33 Part 3 of the Criminal Code (organizing preparations for a violent seizure of power) and sentenced to 19 and 18 years in prison, respectively. The remaining defendants were found guilty under Article 205.5 Part 2 of the Criminal Code and Article 278 of the Criminal Code with the use of Article 30 Part 1 of the Criminal Code and Article 35 part 2 of the Criminal Code (preparations for a violent seizure of power by a group of persons by prior conspiracy) and sentenced as follows: Emir-Usein Kuku and Vadim Siruk to 12 years of incarceration, Refat Alimov to 8 years, and Arsen Dzhepparov to 7 years. All offenders were sentenced to a one-year restriction of freedom as an additional punishment.
In the second half of the month, the Central District Military Court issued a verdict to imprison Amir Gilyazov, a follower of Hizb ut-Tahrir from Chelyabinsk. He was found guilty under Article 205.5 Part 2 of the Criminal Code, under Article 205.2 Part 2 of the Criminal Code (public justification of terrorism on the Internet) and Article 205.1 Part 1.1 of the Criminal Code (recruitment into a terrorist organization) and sentenced to 11 years of incarceration with a ban on activities related to the administration of websites and online channels for a period of three years. However, he was released from serving his sentence in a colony for health reasons. Gilyazov has a disability; he moves in a wheelchair due to Duchenne muscular dystrophy.
In mid-November, Azat Lukmanov was detained in Moscow on suspicion of involvement in Hizb ut-Tahrir. Lukmanov was taken to Ufa, where the court was to choose a preventive measure for him. Previously, Lukmanov had already been convicted twice under Article 282.2 Part 1 of the Criminal Code for his involvement in the party activities.
In the second half of November, the FSB of Russia reported that two Hizb ut-Tahrir “leaders” and seven “participants” were detained in Moscow, Tatarstan and the Tyumen Region. During the searches, “a significant amount” of Hizb ut-Tahrir materials banned in Russia, communications equipment and electronic media were seized. According to OVD-Info Project, Marat Saibatalov and Alim Timkanov have been charged under Article 205.5 Part 1 of the Criminal Code, Ruslan Bariev, Damir Abdrafikov, Rafis Idrisov, Aidar Tashbulatov, Ruslan Fomin and Uzbek citizen Farrukh Makhkamov – under Article 205.5 Part 2 of the Criminal Code. It was reported that some of the defendants may have been tortured in the course of the searches.