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11 October, 2017

Russian law enforcers conduct new raids against Crimean Tatar Muslims, detain seven

Russian law enforcers raided the houses of Muslim Crimean Tatars in Bakhchysarai in the morning of October 11

The news came from the Facebook post by Zair Smedlyayev, a Crimean Tatar national movement activist.  

“A new wave of repressions in Bakhchysarai, searches began in the homes of Temur Ibragimov, Marlen (Suleiman – Ed.) Asanov, Memet Belialov, Seiran Saliyev, Server Zakiriayev and Ismail Gzhyrov (later the information was updated to notify that a police raid was taking place at another house, of Gzhyrov’s neighbor Ernest Ametov – Ed.)”, Smedlyayev wrote on Facebook.

According to the @crimeansolidarity community, the raids began around 6 a.m. All families have young children. Activists claim that five to six people who came to support their neighbors were detained and put into police trucks at the house of Suleiman Asanov. On May 12, 2016, his ethnographic hotel and restaurant Salachik was raided by the police.

RELATED ARTICLE: How the Kremlin propaganda demonizes and affects Ukrainian Muslims

“Suleiman Asanov has been coming to all raids as a civil activist and provided all possible support to the families of political prisoners. His café was the platform he provided for the activists of the Crimean Solidarity community,” the community’s report says.

According to the latest information available, the following people have been detained so far: Refat Asanov, the father of Suleiman; Elnur Asanov, Suleiman’s brother, Ernes Ibragimov, Suleiman’s family member; Nedzhi Rudem, Suleiman’s employee; and Eldar Asanov, Suleiman’s neighbor. They have been brought to the Bakhchysarai police. 

Two more, activist Alimdar Belialov from Stary Krym and Akhmad Suleimanov, an activist from Bakhchysarai, were detained as they were livestreaming the raids.

The Crimean Solidarity community has also noted that the Russian law enforcers were detaining Memet Belialov.

According to the Russian news agency TASS, Russia’s Federal Security Bureau (FSB) has stated that it stopped the activity of a unit of Hizb ut-Tahrir followers. The organization is banned in Russia. The detainees are facing charges under Art. 205.5.1 and 2 of the Criminal Code of Russia, Establishment of Terrorist Organization and Participation in Such Organization.

RELATED ARTICLE: Ukrainian and Crimean Tatar political prisoners in Russia and the occupied Crimea

In January 2015, more people were arrested under the Hizb ut-Tahrir case in Crimea: Ruslan Zeitullayev, Nuri Primov, Rustem Vaitov, followed by Ferat Saifullayev, and Emir-Usein Kuku, Enver Bekirov, Muslim Aliyev and Vadym Siruk in February 2016.

Representatives of Hizb ut-Tahrir, an international Islamic political organization, describe their mission as the unification of all Muslim countries in an Islamic caliphate, yet they reject terrorist methods to accompslih this and claim that they are facing unjustified persecutions in Russia. The Supreme Court of Russia banned Hizb ut-Tahrir in 2003, listing it as one of 15 organizations it qualified as “terrorist”.  In Ukraine, the organization is not banned. The involvement of these people in it is not confirmed.

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