11:19 17.09.2020

Acquittal of Crimean resident Ernes Ametov becomes first in history of 'Hizb ut-Tahrir' case in Russia – Memorial human rights center

3 min read
Acquittal of Crimean resident Ernes Ametov becomes first in history of 'Hizb ut-Tahrir' case in Russia – Memorial human rights center

The acquittal of Ernes Ametov, a defendant in the second Bakhchisarai group 'Hizb ut-Tahrir,' became the first in the history of persecution under a terrorist article for participating in the Hizb ut-Tahrir organization, which is banned in Russia and occupied by it in Crimea, representatives of the Memorial human rights center told Krym.Realii.

"This is the first acquittal since the Supreme Court of Russia in 2003 declared Hizb ut-Tahrir a terrorist organization. You know, I can even assume that this is the first acquittal under the terrorist Article 205 in fact. All of our reports on the practice of prosecution under Article 205 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation and in the cases of Hizb ut-Tahrir, in particular, in the column 'acquittals' were zeros," Daria Kostromina, an employee of the political prisoners support program at the Memorial human rights center, said.

The information was confirmed by Vitaly Ponomarev, head of the program for countering Islamic terrorism at the Memorial human rights center, and Sergei Davidis, a member of the center's board.

"Yes, this is the first acquittal in such cases since 2003, when the Supreme Court recognized the organization as terrorist," Davidis commented on the decision of the Southern District Military Court in Rostov-on-Don.

Experts declined to comment on the possible reasons for such a decision by the Southern District Military Court in Rostov-on-Don before reading the full text of the verdict.

Crimean Solidarity activist Ernes Ametov was arrested on October 11, 2017. He was charged under Part 2 of Article 205.5 (participation in the activities of a terrorist organization) of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation. The rest of the defendants received the maximum sentences in a strict regime colony: Marlen Asanov got 19 years, Mamet Belyalov got18 years, Server Mustavaeva got 14 years, Edem Smailov got 13 years, Sairan Saliev got 16 years, Timur Ibragimov got 17 years, Server Zekiryaev got 13 years.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine expressed a strong protest over the illegal court decision and demanded the release of the Crimean prisoners. The ministry also called on the international community to respond to "such a shameful decision of the occupying state, to categorically condemn the use of the Russian illegal practice of prosecuting dissent, to demand that Russia stop violating international law." In addition, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs asks to continue active work to protect the rights and freedoms of residents of the Crimean Peninsula and to increase pressure on the Russian Federation, including sanctions.

The department said that all these citizens of Ukraine were illegally detained on the territory of the temporarily occupied Autonomous Republic of Crimea, accused under Article 205.5 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation "organization and participation in terrorist activities" and in violation of international law, illegally transferred to the territory of Russia in the city of Rostov-on-Don.

The pretrial investigation and trial took place with numerous procedural violations.

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