2017-10-11 18:59:00

Homes of suspected Hizb ut-Tahrir members searched in Bakhchisarai

Simferopol, October 11, Interfax - The homes of suspected members of the Hizb ut-Tahrir organization (banned in Russia) have been searched in Bakhchisarai, Crimea, an informed source told Interfax on Wednesday.

"The homes of Marlen [Suleyman] Asanov, Timur Ibragimov, Server Zekiryaev, Ernest Ametov, Seyran Saliyev, and Memet Belyalov have been searched. One of those men is the father of 12 children," the source said.

Several men were taken away after the searches, he said.

"I have not been allowed into the searched areas. I will try to meet with my client [Asanov] at the FSB office," lawyer Emil Kurbedinov told Interfax.

The Federal Security Service (FSB) department in the Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol said on Wednesday that it had stopped the activity of the Bakhchisarai cell of the Hizb ut-Tahrir international terrorist organization and charged its six members with organizing and participating in the activity of a terrorist group.

Suspected organizers and members of Hizb ut-Tahrir groups were arrested in Crimea's Sevastopol, Yalta, Bakhchisarai, and Simferopol in 2015 and 2016.

"The Sevastopol four" have already been convicted. One of them, Ruslan Zeitullayev, was sentenced to 15 years in prison. The defendants pleaded not guilty and said their trial was politically motivated.

The primary objective of Hizb ut-Tahrir is establishing a caliphate, a theocratic state to unite the entire Islamic world.

The Russian Supreme Court branded Hizb ut-Tahrir a terrorist organization in 2003 and outlawed its activity in Russia.