CRIMEA: Four years in jail for mosque meetings

25.01.2019, 12:20
Crimea's Supreme Court jailed 49-year-old Muslim Renat Suleimanov for four years for meeting with others in mosques to discuss their faith. Three others were given suspended sentences. All were accused of membership of the Tabligh Jamaat missionary movement, banned in Russia. All denied any "extremism".

After more than 15 months in pre-trial detention following his October 2017 arrest by the Russian FSB security service, the Supreme Court in Russian-occupied Crimea has jailed local 49-year-old Muslim Renat Suleimanov for four years. He was punished on "extremism"-related charges for alleged leadership in a group of the Tabligh Jamaat Muslim missionary movement, which Russia has banned. He denied all accusations of "extremism".

Three other Muslims sentenced with Suleimanov in the Crimean capital Simferopol on 22 January were given two and a half year suspended sentences, when they will live under restrictions, the group Crimean Solidarity noted after the verdicts were handed down. All four are from the Crimean Tatar minority.

The four men met openly in mosques to discuss their faith. "At lessons we studied ayats [verses] from the Koran, the value of praying the namaz, and the zikr [reciting devotional phrases as a reminder of Allah]," one of the men Talyat Abdurakhmanov told the court. "These lessons were not conspiratorial and took place in mosques" (see full article here).

Felix Corley

Forum 18, Jan 24, 2019