Memorial Human Rights Centre considers residents of Crimea Enver Mamutov, Rustem Abiltarov, Zevri Abseitov, and Remzi Memetov political prisoners.
All four are charged with taking part in the activities of Hizb ut-Tahrir, an international religious and political organisation designated as terrorist in Russia in 2003.
Memetov has been charged with organising the activity of a terrorist organisation (the maximum punishment for which is life imprisonment) under Article 205.5, Section 1, of the Russian Criminal Code. The other defendants have been charged with taking part in the activity of a terrorist organisation (the maximum penalty for which is 20 years’ imprisonment) under Article 205.5, Section 2, of the Russian Criminal Code. Furthermore, all defendants have been charged with preparing the violent seizure of power by an organised group in prior agreement (the maximum penalty for which is 10 years’ imprisonment) under Articles 35 (Section 2), 30 (Section 1) and 278 of the Russian Criminal Code. The trial is currently underway in the North Caucasus District Military Court in Rostov-on-Don.
According to the FSB, Mamutov set up the Hizb ut-Tahrir cell of which the other defendants became members. They met in a garage belonging to Mamutov, read Hizb ut-Tahrir literature and discussed philosophical, religious and political issues. No evidence has been provided they prepared acts of terrorism, the seizure of power, or any acts of violence whatsoever. This latest case concerning participation in Hizb ut-Tahrir is one of a series conducted by the FSB, as has become a tradition in recent years, and includes the most serious charges for which there are no grounds.
An important factor in this matter is that Crimea, in our opinion, is a territory under occupation by Russia. Under international humanitarian law, Russia in these circumstances is restricted in its legislative and administrative powers. Russia does not have the right to wholly repeal the criminal law in force at the moment of the occupation and replace it with its own. In the framework of Ukrainian legislation, the activity of Hizb ut-Tahrir is completely lawful.
We demand the immediate release of Enver Mamutov, Rustem Abiltarov, Zevri Abseitov and Remzi Memetov.
Recognition of an individual as a political prisoner, or of a prosecution as politically motivated, does not imply that Memorial Human Rights Centre shares or approves the individual’s views, statements or actions.
For more information about the Hizb ut-Tahrir Bakhchisarai prosecution, see here.
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