The armed forces of Tatarstan approved the sentence of a Said Nursi Muslim

The real term assigned to Gabdrakhman Naumov under Art. 282.2 and 282.3 of the Criminal Code.

Sova Center (15.02.2022) – – On February 8, 2022, the Supreme Court of Tatarstan considered the verdict of Gabdrakhman (Albert) Naumov, accused of organizing the activities of the extremist organization “Nurjular” (Part 1 of Art. 282.2 of the Criminal Code) and financing of extremism (Part 1 of Art. 282.3 of the Criminal Code), and left unchanged the sentence of six and a half years in prison. The verdict handed down on November 2, 2021 by the Volga District Court of Kazan entered into force.


Naumov was a teacher at the Russian Islamic University, a member of the Ulema Council of the SAM of Russia, an imam-khatyb of the Al-Iman parish of the mukhtasibat of the Soviet and Volga regions of Kazan. In March 2020, he was accused of involvement in the activities of the banned religious association “Nurjular” and detained.


According to the investigation, since 2015, Naumov “organized the activities of secret groups” and held “secret propaganda meetings” “Nurjular”. In addition, from the point of view of the investigation with which the court agreed, in November 2015 he organized the project “Yashlar Bistase” (“Youth Sloboda”) – Sunday courses on the basics of Islam for schoolchildren in the villages of Tatarstan. The investigation claimed that Naumov created this project, using other citizens, to increase the number of Nurjular followers in the republic and financed it through remittances: allocated money for transport, food and accommodation.


The verdict also mentions Naumov’s connection with graduates of the Muhammadiya madrasah Nail Vakhitov and Salavat Muzafarov, who were convicted under Art. 282.2 of the Criminal Code (Vakhitov received seven years in prison, Muzafarov – four years).


According to the lawyer, during the searches, Naumov was found two books by Said Nursi (alleged ideologist of “Nurjular”). However, according to the defender, the investigation did not provide evidence that Naumov preached a prohibited ideology. The lawyer also stated that witnesses, one of whom was classified, claimed Naumov’s membership in Nurcular only from the words of others.


We consider the Nurjular ban illegal. His recognition as an extremist organization in 2008 was the result of unreasonable bans on the books of the Turkish Islamic theologian of the moderate direction Said Nursi – for promoting the superiority of Islam over other religions. Recall that the European Court of Human Rights in 2018 ruled that by banning these books, Russian courts violated Art. 10 of the European Convention guaranteeing freedom of expression. We believe that Russian Muslims studying Nursi’s heritage do not constitute a single organization. Nevertheless, the Nurcular association is banned in Russia as an extremist organization, as a result of which Muslims reading and discussing Nursi’s books are prosecuted.

Further reading about FORB in Russia on HRWF website