Statement of the CTRC in connection with the sentences of the defendants in the Hizb ut-Tahrir case

January 12, 2023

The Southern District Military Court in Rostov-on-Don, in violation of the norms of international humanitarian law, on January 11, 2023, announced sentences to five citizens of Ukraine, representatives of the Crimean Tatar people Alim Karimov, Seyran Murtaza, Erfan Osmanov, Dzhemil Gafarov and Servet Gaziev.

The Russians accused all political prisoners of supposedly terrorism (Article 205.15 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation) and forcible seizure of power (Article 278 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation), and criminally sentenced each to 13 years in prison in a colony. Also, Seyran Murtaza, Erfan Osmanov and Dzhemil Gafarov were sentenced by the court to restrict freedom of movement for 1 year, and Servet Gaziev and Alim Karimov – for 1 year and 6 months.

Considering that Dzhemil Gafarov and Servet Gaziev, criminally convicted by the Russian punitive system, are elderly citizens with disabilities and many chronic diseases that have worsened in prison, for them 13 years in prison is actually equal to a death sentence!

As always, the accusations were based on the testimony of hidden witnesses, the conclusions of biased experts who are completely dependent on the Russian occupiers, and the testimony of Russian law enforcement officers. All the criminally convicted did not admit their guilt and demanded that the provisions of the IV Geneva Convention for the Protection of Civilian Population in Time of War (08/12/1949) be applied to them, since they are citizens of Ukraine and their illegal detention took place in the Crimea, which is a temporarily occupied territory Ukraine.

The Crimean Tatar Resource Center considers the conviction of representatives of the Crimean Tatar people, citizens of Ukraine Alim Karimov, Seyran Murtaza, Erfan Osmanov, Dzhemil Gafarov and Servet Gaziev, a gross violation of international law prohibiting the application of occupation legislation in the occupied territories.

We consider these sentences to be illegal, politically motivated and criminal, the purpose, intimidation and physical isolation of Ukrainian citizens who do not agree with the occupation of Ukrainian territories and do not hide their attitude towards the occupation regime.

The Crimean Tatar Resource Center strongly protests and demands the immediate release of all political prisoners