30 November 2022
Rail Abdrakhmanov, Vyacheslav Vankov, Lenar Mukhamadeev and Ilsur Galeev were sentenced to terms of imprisonment from 11 to 18 years for involvement in Hizb ut-Tahrir
Source: Political Prisoners. Memorial
The human rights project ‘Political Prisoners. Memorial’ considers Rail Abdrakhmanov, Vyacheslav Vankov, Lenar Mukhamadeev and Ilsur Galeev political prisoners in accordance with international standards. The four Muslims from Kazan were sentenced to long terms of imprisonment solely for alleged involvement in the Islamic party Hizb ut-Tahrir al-Islami, which is banned in Russia. Their prosecution has been in gross violation of their rights to freedom of religion and association.
We demand the immediate release of Abdrakhmanov, Vankov, Mukhamadeev and Galeev from custody and that all criminal charges against them be dropped.
Why are the four Kazan Muslims being prosecuted?
Rail Abdrakhmanov, Vyacheslav Vankov, Lenar Mukhamadeev and Ilsur Galeev were detained in Kazan on 5 November 2020.
They were all charged with involvement in the activities of the Islamic party Hizb ut-Tahrir al-Islami, which is banned in Russia.
Abdrakhmanov and Vankov were charged with organising the activities of a terrorist organisation (Article 205.5, Part 1, of the Russian Criminal Code), participation in the activities of a terrorist organisation (Article 205.5, Part 2, of the Russian Criminal Code) and the financing of terrorism (Article 205.1, Part 1.1, of the Russian Criminal Code). Mukhamadeev was charged with participation in the activities of a terrorist organisation (Article 205.5, Part 2, of the Russian Criminal Code) and recruitment of new members (Article 205.1, Part 1, of the Russian Criminal Code). Galeev was charged with participation in the activities of a terrorist organisation (Article 205.5, Part 2, of the Russian Criminal Code).
On 13 September 2022, the Central District Military Court sentenced Vankov to 18 years’ imprisonment and Abdrakhmanov to 17 years’ imprisonment. Lenar Mukhamadeev was sentenced to 12 years’ imprisonment and Ilsur Galeev to 11 years’ imprisonment. All four will spend the first four years of their sentences in a cell-type prison and the rest in a strict regime penal colony.
Why do we consider the four defendants political prisoners?
As with many other prosecutions for involvement in Hizb ut-Tahrir, in the cases of Rail Abdrakhmanov, Vyacheslav Vankov, Lenar Mukhamadeev and Ilsur Galeev there is no evidence of violence or appeals to violent actions. All the charges are based solely on the fact that the four Muslims participated in Hizb ut-Tahrir’s activities, held meetings, celebrations, tea parties after Friday prayers, and talked about religion and a better world order.
As in many similar cases, the evidence for the prosecution consisted of very similar testimony given by witnesses dependent on the investigators. One of the witnesses was classified, another was exempted from criminal liability ‘for active repentance’ and two others avoided criminal charges by concluding a pre-trial agreement to cooperate with the authorities. All these witnesses allegedly participated in the activities of a Hizb ut-Tahrir cell along with those convicted.
Despite this, the court stated that evidence of terrorist activity was not required for a conviction under terrorist articles of the Russian Criminal Code and that the decision of the Russian Supreme Court designating Hizb ut-Tahrir a terrorist organisation was sufficient.
We consider the 2003 Supreme Court decision banning the activities of a large number of Islamic organisations unjustified and unlawful. The Court’s decision devotes only one paragraph to Hizb ut-Tahrir and puts forward no evidence of terrorist activities.
In the years since the Supreme Court decision designating Hizb ut-Tahrir a terrorist organisation, hundreds of Muslims have been prosecuted on charges related to involvement with Hizb ut-Tahrir.
A more detailed description of the case and the position of the ‘Political Prisoners. Memorial’ human rights project are available on our publishing platform on Telegram.
An up-to-date list of political prisoners in Russia is available on our website.
Recognition of an individual as a political prisoner does not imply the ‘Political Prisoners. Memorial’ project agrees with, or approves of, their views, statements, or actions.
How can you help?
Letters can be sent to the following address:
In Russian: 623850, Свердловская обл., г. Ирбит, ул. Кирова, д.29а, ФКУ СИЗО-2 ГУФСИН России по Свердловской области, Абдрахманов Раиль Рафаилович, 1988 г.р.; Ваньков Вячеслав Евгеньевич, 1982 г.р.; Мухамадеев Ленар Зуфарович, 1984 г.р.; Галеев Ильсур Ильдусович, 1967 г.р.
In English: Rail Rafailovich Abdrakhmanov (born 1988); Vyacheslav Vankov (born 1982); Lenar Zufarovich Mukhamadeev (born 1984); Ilsur Ildusovich Galeev (born 1967); Remand Prison No. 2, Russian Federal Penitentiary Service for Sverdlovsk region, 29a Kirov Street, Irbit, Sverdlovsk region, 623850, Russia
Translated by Rights in Russia