Russia automatically qualifies Crimean Tatar Muslims as terrorists
Oleg Sentsov, a Kremlin's prisoner, is on a hunger strike demanding to release all Ukrainian political prisoners. They are over 60 only according to official information. Among them, 24 are held captive in the Russian Federation, 40 - in the Crimea. And every week new searches and arrests take place on the peninsula. Russia automatically qualifies as terrorists the Crimean Tatars who profess Islam, Channel 24 reports.
The members of the Islamic political organization Hizb ut-Tahrir are detained and thrown into prison especially often.
Crimean Tatar Emer-Usein Kuku said that when his fellow believers started to disappear in the annexed Crimea, he set off to search them. For this he was detained in winter 2016 and accused of extremism. Now Emir is in the preliminary detention center in Rostov-on-Don. To ex[press his protes, on June 26, Kuku embarked on a hunger strike.
His health is deteriorating. The beatings have their effect.
He said that his head was aching, he had heart troubles. He was beaten during the first search, when the persecution just began. It was then that he had problems with the kidneys, thighs, knees,” said the activist's wife, Mariam Kuku, who remained alone with two children.
Attorney Emil Kurbedinov defends several participants named in the case of extremism as members of the organization Hizb ut-Tahrir al Islam (literally translated as “Islamic Liberation Party"). In total, they are more than 20. The FSB even divided cases into groups based on the location of cells: Bakhchysaraysk, Yalta and Simferopol.
All detainees are Crimean Tatars.
Emir Kuk and Muslim Aliyev are named in the same case. Both of them are detained at the FSB's investigative facility, and the rest of the prisoners are separated. The case is completely framed up,” said lawyer Emil Kurbedinov.
The prisoners are accused of attempting to overthrow the constitutional order.
Kurbedinov explained that Hizb-ut-Tahrir, which is recognized by Russia as a terrorist organization, has nothing to do with the Crimean Tatar activists of the Muslim faith. However, the FSB sees no difference and is countering all of them and many others to write reports about their successful work and receive funds for this. Even the representatives of Hizb ut-Tahrir assure that they are not terrorists. Violence is contrary to their ideology, and the Prophet Muhammad preached peace.
“Russia consistently pursues an old policy: if there is a man, there can be a case. If we had an office in the Russian Federation, in which Putin's portrait would hang on the wall, as Ramzan Kadyrov’s portraits in Chechnya, then our organization could have calmly survived,” said Phaseem Amzai, head of the Hizb Ut-Tahrir Information Office in Ukraine.
This organization has worked for over 60 years, in Crimea its centers appeared in the 90's. However, after the occupation, they were forced to go underground because of persecution. Despite the fact that Hizb ut-Tahrir advocates the restoration of the traditional Muslim system, there is no evidence of its involvement in terrorism. This is repeatedly pointed out by international human rights organizations.
“In order to silence the Tatars who oppose occupation, Russia is ready to qualify all of them as terrorists and extremists.
Like in Stalin's times, they are striving to see the ethnically pure Russian Crimea,” said the leader of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people Mustafa Dzhemilev.
Meanwhile, arrests in the Hizb ut-Tahrir case continue.