The Rostov-on-Don Southern Military District Court sentenced four defendants in the so-called “Alushta group” in the fabricated Hizb ut-Tahrir criminal case.
“The court, represented by presiding judge Roman Saprunov, rejected all motions filed by defence and sided with the prosecution, sentencing Crimean Tatars to 12-18 years in a maximum security penal colony. The seizure of property was canceled,” Crimean Solidarity posted on Facebook.
In particular, Ruslan Mesutov and Lenur Khalilov were sentenced to 18 years in prison, Eldar Kantimirov to 12 years and Ruslan Nahayev to 13 years.
According to the court ruling, all of them will stay in a maximum security penal colony for the first two years and will be restricted in their freedom of movement and free choice of residence during the year after serving their sentences.
Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights Liudmyla Denisova stated that the judgment of the Russian court was illegal and the criminal case had been fabricated.
“Russian prosecutors achieved the illegal imprisonment of Crimean Tatars for a crime they did not commit… I condemn the illegal judgment delivered by the Southern Military District Court against our fellow citizens. By prosecuting Crimean Tatars and other illegally detained citizens of Ukraine, the occupying power, the Russian Federation, violates international law, the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” the Commissioner underscored.
She called on representatives of international missions, human rights organisations, and diplomatic corps to make Russia stop unjustified detentions and trials of illegally detained Ukrainian citizens and return them to their homeland.
As a reminder, Russian security officers detained Crimeans after searches in June 2019. Russia’s FSB said the investigation measures concerned the activities of the Hizb ut-Tahrir religious organisation.
The Human Rights Centre Memorial recognised the defendants in the Alushta Hizb ut-Tahrir case – Ruslan Nahayev, Eldar Kantimirov, Lenur Khalilov, and Ruslan Mesutov – as political prisoners.