Sova Center (13.09.2019) – – Earlier this month, Sheremetyevo Airport Customs announced the seizure of Fortress of the Muslim (various editions of this book are included in the Federal List of Extremist Materials) from a passenger arriving from the UAE. Cases against him were opened under Article 16.2 Part 1 (non-declaration of goods) and Article 16.3 (non-observance of interdictions and (or) restrictions on exportation of goods into the customs territory of the Eurasian Economic Union) of the Code of Administrative Offenses. Border guards at the Veseloyarsk checkpoint of Altaisky Krai seized three copies of banned books, Fortress of the Muslim and Faza’il-e-A’maal, from citizens of Kyrgyzstan. 


Fortress of the Muslim is a popular collection of prayers for every day, which, in our opinion, contains no signs of incitement to religious hatred; therefore, the courts did not have grounds to recognize it as extremist. 

Faza’il-e-A’maal is a collection of treatises by Muhammad Zakariya Kandhlawi, an ideologist of the Islamic movement Tablighi Jamaat, which is recognized as extremist in Russia. Tablighi Jamaat was never implicated in calls for violence, and we consider its prohibition inappropriate. In our opinion, the courts also did not have sufficient grounds to ban the texts of the Tablighi Jamaat ideologues, including the treatises of Muhammad Zakariya Kandhlawi.


A report under Article 16.2 of the Code of Administrative Offenses was compiled in August by customs officers with respect to a Yekaterinburg resident, who transported Jehovah’s Witnesses books, including the banned publication “What does the Bible really teach?” through Koltsovo Airport in June. In our opinion, recognition of this book as extremist, as well as the overall ban against Jehovah’s Witnesses literature, was inappropriate.

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