Week-ending 29 October 2021
Hizb ut-Tahrir is an Islamic religious group that does not advocate or practice violence, yet has been designated as terrorist by the Russian authorities. Moreover, in Ukraine Hizb ut-Tahrir operates legally and its followers among the Muslims in Crimea faced no legal barriers until the annexation of the peninsula by Russia. Many of its followers are now being convicted for organisation of a terrorist group, or participation in its activities, and sentenced to long terms in prison. This week four individuals in Crimea were sentenced to terms in prison ranging from 12 to 17 years for being members of the group and ‘plotting to seize power by force.’ The four individuals as Seytumer Seytumerov, Osman Seytumerov, Rustem Seytmemetov and Amet Syleymanov. Memorial Human Rights Centre considers the four to be political prisoners.
RFE/RL, 29 October 2021: A Russian court has handed lengthy prison terms to four Crimean Tatars for being members of the Hizb ut-Tahrir Islamic group and “plotting to seize power by force.” Defense lawyers said on October 29 that the Southern District Military Court in the city of Rostov-on-Don sentenced Seytumer Seytumerov to 17 years in prison, Osman Seytumerov to 14 years, Rustem Seytmemetov to 13 years, and Amet Suleymanov to 12 years. The lawyers said they would appeal the sentences.
Human Rights in Ukraine, 29 October 2021: A Russian court has passed appalling sentences against two sons of a renowned Crimean Tatar historian and their uncle, as well as against a civic journalist with a life-threatening heart condition. The four recognized political prisoners received terms of imprisonment from 12 to 17 years on charges that are eerily similar to that used during Stalin’s Terror against the two brothers’ great-grandfather. The latter was executed in 1938 for what the NKVD called ‘counter-revolutionary terrorist propaganda’ (and posthumously ‘rehabilitated’ in 1990) Seitumer Seitumerov; Osman Seitumerov; their uncle Rustem Seitmemetov and journalist Amet Suleimanov are charged with ‘terrorism’, although none is accused of a recognizable crime and the enforcement officers who burst into their homes on 11 March 2020 never pretended to be looking for anything except ‘prohibited literature’.