Week-ending 18 September 2020
On 16 September 2020 seven Muslims from Crimean were sentenced for offences under Article 205.5, Parts 1 and 2, of the Russian Criminal Code, along with offences under Article 278 of the Russian Criminal Code.
Article 205.5 of the RF Criminal Code
Organisation of and participation in the activities of a terrorist organisation
1) Organisation of activities of an organisation recognised as terrorist under the legislation of the Russian Federation – shall be punishable by imprisonment for a term of fifteen to twenty years with a fine of up to one million roubles or in the amount of the convicted person’s wages or other income for a period of up to five years, or without such a fine and with a restriction of liberty for a term of one to two years or life imprisonment.
- 2. Participation in the activities of an organisation that, in accordance with the legislation of the Russian Federation, is recognized as terrorist – punishable by imprisonment for a term of ten to twenty years with a fine of up to five hundred thousand roubles or in the amount of the convicted person’s wages or other income for a period of up to three years, or without it.
For the original Russian, see here.
The sentences passed as reported by Human Rights in Ukraine, are as follows:
- Crimean Solidarity civic journalist Marlen (Suleyman) Asanov 19 years
- Crimean Solidarity activist Memet Belyalov 18 years and 18 months restriction of liberty
- Crimean Solidarity civic journalist Timur Ibragimov 17 years and 18 months restriction of liberty
- Crimean Solidarity Coordinator and journalist Server Mustafayev 14 years and 1 year restriction of liberty
- Crimean Solidarity civic journalist Seiran Saliyev 16 years and 1 year restriction of liberty
- Edem Smailov (the leader of a religious community) 13 years and 1 year restriction of liberty
- Crimean Solidarity volunteer Server Zekiryaev 13 years
In 2003 the Russian Supreme Court designated Hizb ut-Tahrir as a ‘terrorist’ organisation despite the fact that, according to Memorial Human Rights Centre, there has been no evidence that the organisation is involved in terrorism.
Asanov, Belyalov and Ibragimov were convicted of being ‘organizers of a Hizb ut-Tahrir group’ under Article 205.5, Part 1, of the Russian criminal code. The other men were all charged with ‘involvement in a Hizb ut-Tahrir group’ under Article 205.5, Part 2, of the Russian Criminal Code.
All seven were also convicted of ‘planning to violently seize power’ under Article 278 of the Russian Criminal Code.
Memorial Human Rights Centre takes the view that considers the designation of Hizb ut-Tahrir as a terrorist organisation is unlawful. Memorial points out that the 2003 Supreme Court ruling that banned a large number of Islamic organisations devoted one paragraph of three sentences to Hizb ut-Tahrir. None of those sentences contains any evidence the organisation engages in terrorist activities. Moreover, the designation of Hizb ut-Tahrir as a terrorist organisation makes it possible to define any of its activities as ‘terrorist’ in nature. Gatherings, meetings or storage of the organisation’s literature became terrorist activities. Memorial argues that Article 28 of the Russian Constitution protects these activities for members of a religious faith. It guarantees everyone ‘freedom of conscience, freedom of religion, including the right, individually or jointly with others, to profess any religion or not to profess any religion, to freely choose, have and disseminate religious and other beliefs and to act in accordance with them.’