Kyiv, Ukraine – A Russian military court has sentenced five Muslim men from annexed Crimea to up to 14 years in jail for their alleged membership in an “Islamist” organisation, a community figure told Al Jazeera.
Thursday’s decision appears to continue Moscow’s perennial pressure on Crimean Tatars, a Muslim minority that once dominated the Black Sea peninsula and fiercely resisted the 2014 annexation.
Dozens of Tatar men are awaiting trial or have been sentenced – and almost 200 children have been left “fatherless”, community leaders say.
The Southern District Military court in the southwestern city of Rostov-on-Don on Thursday sentenced Bilyal Adilov to 14 years in jail, while Izzet Abdullaev, Tofik Abdulgaziev, Vladlen Abdulkadyrov and Mejit Abdurakhmanov received 12-year sentences, activist Mumine Salieva told Al Jazeera.
The men were accused of being members of Hizb-ut Tahrir, an organisation that advocates for a peaceful restoration of a Muslim Caliphate. It freely operates
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