The Investigative Committee believes the banned Islamic State received a charitable donation of 7,000 roubles
Memorial Human Rights Centre, in accordance with international criteria, considers Georgy Guyev a political prisoner. We believe he has been deprived of liberty for the non-violent exercise of freedom of religion and he was convicted in violation of the right to a fair trial. Memorial calls for an immediate review of Guyev's prosecution.
Who is Georgy Guyev and what were the charges against him?
Georgy Guyev is a Muslim from North Ossetia who lived and worked in Moscow. He graduated from the Plekhanov University of Economics and then worked first for the major auditing company KPMG and later for the construction company Promstroi.
On 16 May 2019 Guyev was arrested in Moscow on charges of financing terrorism (Article 205.1, Part 1, of the Russian Criminal Code).
According to the Investigative Committee, from 2015 to 2019 Guyev collected money on his bank card for militants of the Islamic State, an organisation banned in Russia, as well as for Israil Akhmednabiev (known as Abu Umar Sasitlinsky), a well-known Dagestani preacher and founder of the Islamic Muhajirun fund who is wanted as a suspect in a terrorism case.
Initially, the investigation claimed Guyev transferred at least 50 million roubles for these purposes, but in the indictment only the sum of 7,201 roubles was included.
Georgy Guyev denies the charges, stating he only made a few donations to the Live Heart charitable fund which works to alleviate the lack of drinking water in African countries.
In November 2020 the Second Western District Military Court sentenced Guyev to six years in a general regime colony.
Why does Memorial consider Guyev a political prisoner?
We believe Guyev’s trial did not prove his guilt:
For more than 15 years Memorial has monitored pressure by law enforcement agencies on Muslims in Russia and the fabrication of criminal cases for extremist and/or terrorist offences. Government propaganda uses and aggravates domestic Islamophobia, uniting Islam and terrorism in the minds of ordinary people.
Civilian oversight of such prosecutions is minimal and the security services inflate the statistics of their ‘successes’ to prove their own usefulness, manipulating public perceptions of the terrorist threat and substituting the appearance of a struggle against terrorism for the real thing.
The schema used for the serial ‘solution’ of crimes of financing terrorism has now been maximally simplified. At the same time, it is precisely the supposed need to combat terrorism that, in recent years, has been used to justify the adoption of laws restricting civil and constitutional rights.
In this way, creating the appearance of combating terrorism is used to consolidate the power of those in positions of authority.
Recognition of an individual as a political prisoner or as a victim of politically motivated prosecution does not imply Memorial Human Rights Centre agrees with, or approves of, their views, statements, or actions.
More information about the case of Georgy Guyev and the position of Memorial Human Rights Centre is available on our website.
How to help?
You can support all political prisoners by donating to the Fund to Support Political Prisoners of the Union of Solidarity with Political Prisoners via PayPal, using the e-wallet at [email protected].