Russian Trial Continues Supression of Crimean Activists
Photo graty.me / Graty
The trial against activists of the Crimean Solidarity human rights group is being held in the Russian military court in Rostov-on-Don, Ukrainian online media Graty (The Bars) reported.
Eight prisoners of the Kremlin, Timur Ibragimov, Marlen (Suleiman) Asanov, Memet Belialov, Seiran Saliev, Server Zekiriaev, Ernes Ametov, Edem Smailov, and Server Mustafayev are charged for alleged terrorist activities.
Marlen Asanov, Timur Ibragimov and Memet Belialov are on trial as organizers; the other five are accused of participating in the activities of a terrorist organization.
According to the investigation, all the accused were part of a cell of the Islamic organization Hizb ut-Tahrir, banned in Russia, Graty reported citing the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB).
The Hizb ut-Tahrir religious organization – legal in Ukraine – has been labeled as a terrorist group by Russia. After Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea, occupying authorities have used alleged membership in Hizb ut-Tahrir as a means of persecuting Crimean Tatars who have resisted the occupation.
All the eight are residents of the city of Bakhchisaray in Crimea, and they were activists of the Crimean Tatar movement, members of the human rights group Crimean Solidarity. A group of six defendants: Timur Ibragimov, Marlen Asanov, Memet Belialov, Seiran Saliev, Server Zekiriaev, Ernes Ametov was detained back in October, 2017.
As Edem Smailov and Server Mustafayev were detained on May 21, 2018, their cases on the same day were attached to the so-called ‘Hizb ut-Tahrir’ case. Mustafayev is the founder and coordinator of the Crimean Solidarity initiative.
Mustafayev is a prisoner of conscience being persecuted solely for his human rights activism, Amnesty International states.