Adherent of Muslim sect amasses prison time


OVDInfo, 6 August 2021


Astat Khafizov, who was sentenced to 19 years in the Hizb ut-Tahrir [Party of Liberation] case, was given another 12 and 10 years incarceration by the Central District military court. This was reported on the "Roditelskaia Solidarnost" Telegram channel.


Khafizov was found guilty of participating in a terrorist organization (part 2, article 205.5 of the Criminal Code) and recruiting for a terrorist organization (part 1.1, article 205.1 C.C.) and sentenced to 12 and 10 years in a penal colony respectively. In total, taking account of overlap, the Muslim was sentenced to 16 years imprisonment.


To this sentence were added 13 years of the unserved portion of Khafizov's previous sentence. In December 2017, a Kazan court sentenced Asgat Khafizov to 19 years and 2 months in a penal colony of strict regime for participating in Hizb ut-Tahrir. At that time he was found guilty on articles regarding arranging the activity of a terrorist organization (part 1, article 205.5 C.C.) and an extremist organization (part 1, article 282.2 C.C.).


All told, Khafizov faces a term of 23 years in a penal colony of strict regime. As the Telegram channel notes, the convict will have to spend three of these years in a prison.


Astat Khafizov has been in custody since 14 October 2014. In May 2020 it was learned that, as of that time, two additional criminal cases had been opened against Khafizov.


The Hizb ut-Tahrir Party has been ruled in Russia to be a terrorist organization. In various regions of the country, cases about terrorism have been opened, while members of cells of the organization are accused and sentenced to various terms in a penal colony of strict regime merely on the basis that they have met in apartments, read religious literature, and recruited new members.


A number of experts of rights advocacy organizations, including the SOVA Center for Analysis, assert that there are no bases for considering the party to be a terrorist organization. Members of Hizb ut-Tahrir have not been observed participating in the planning or executing terrorist acts. Subdivisions of the party conduct their activity legally in many countries of the world, although they are labeled by local authorities as "fundamentalist" Muslim organizations. (tr. by PDS, posted 6 August 2021)

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