Part Two of Article 205.5 of the Russian Criminal Code (participation in the activities of an organization recognized as ‘terrorist’ in Russia, namely the local cell of the Islamic Party of Liberation (Hizb ut-Tahrir al-Islami)
Apr. 2, 2015
5 years in general regime penal colony
Sayfullaev Ferat Refatovich (born 1983), penal colony #17, 125 Trudovykh Rezervov Str., Omutninsk, 612740, Kirov Oblast, Russia
days in custody
Ferat Sayfullaev was born in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, on July 21, 1983. He graduated from Hafiz Medrese in Kurmany (Krasnohvardiyske) and Vadim Getman Kyiv National Economic University. He resided in Sevastopol with his wife and three children until his arrest.
On April 2, 2015, Ferat was arrested and accused of participating in the activity of the Islamic Party of Liberation (Hizb ut-Tahrir al-Islami) in the villages of Orlyne, Tylove, and Shturmove (Sevastopol’s Balaklava District).
Ferat has not pled guilty refused to witness against himself during the investigation. He is positioning himself as a human rights activist and public figure. Ferat was engaged in an intense public activity, took part in the organization and carrying out of various events. He has a lot of friends and acquaintances of different confessions and ethnic origins.
Ferat used to be the head of a Muslim community, which was in charge of a plot that was claimed on by the local authorities and state security officers. After the illegal annexation of Crimea, those officers betrayed their oath and defected to Russia’s Security Service. Therefore they had a personal motive to take revenge on Sayfullaev.
On September 7, 2016, the North Caucasus District Military Court sentenced Ferat to 5 years in general regime penal colony.
The criminal case of Ferat Sayfullaev and Ruslan Zeytullaev (another Crimean Muslim from Sevastopol) was based on the reports of a former Ukrainian security officer Kozhemyaka who betrayed his oath and is now in Russian service. He started submitting them right after the Russian annexation of Crimea.
The conflict between the future defendants and Kozhemyaka started back in 2012 and resulted from the corruption schemes of the local security authorities. Crimean Tatar community was allocated a plot for building a mosque. According to the lawyer Emil Kurbedinov, the security officers, including Kozhemyaka, also laid a claim to the plot. This suggests that Kozhemyaka had a personal motivation to accuse those Crimean Muslims.
Multiple violations took place in the course of the investigation:
- The court hearings regarding the extension of the preventive measure to Sayfullaev were not transparent. The audience was barred from entering the courtroom under various pretexts.
- The court violated the Sayfullaev’s right for defense by denying the presence of a public defender at the court hearings along with the lawyer.
- The court denied the access of the defense to the case materials that substantiated the prolongation of the detention term.
- The court dismissed the application of the defense on the disqualification of the judge filed on the basis of the abovementioned facts that point at his direct or indirect interest in the outcome of the case.
- The investigator did not provide the lawyer and the defendant with copies of the case materials. Thereby they were deprived of the possibility to file a relevant complaint and other rights guaranteed by Russian and international law.
- The investigator dismissed the application of the defense on the disqualification of the expert on the basis of his incompetence and bias.
- The investigation has kept secret the locations of the expertises, which contradicts Russia’s procedural law.