Russian court upholds journalist Ametov's sentence – he is to be put in prison for 11 years
The Military Court of Appeal in Vlasykha (Russia) upheld the ruling in the case of Ernes Ametov, a citizen journalist from Crimea who was sentenced to 11 years in prison, reports the Crimean Solidarity.
His wife, Eleonora Ametova, believes the ruling to be an act revenge on the part of the Russian special service for Ernes refusing to perjure his fellow Muslims.
"Ernes is a religious man. He is faithful to God and his life principles. When he refused, they told him: 'You will be in prison with the rest, then,'" she said.
"The court reminded me more of a conveyor belt for closing can lids – such an impeccable and frighteningly fast process, streamlined to perfection. It's as if they aren't deciding on a person's fate but closing another can. [For the court, it's] nothing personal, just business," said Ametov himself.
As the IMI reported, on October 12, 2017, the Russian FSB detained and then arrested Timur Ibragimov, Marlen (Suleiman) Asanov, Memet Belyalov, Seyran Saliyev, Server Zekiryaev and Ernes Ametov. All of them are members of "Crimean Solidarity" – an association of lawyers, relatives of political prisoners, and activists which provides assistance to Crimeans who have been persecuted for political or religious reasons.
Edem Smailov and "Crimean Solidarity" coordinator Server Mustafayev were detained and arrested later – on May 22, 2018.
According to the investigation, all the detainees were members of a cell in the Islamic party "Hizb ut-Tahrir", which has been banned in Russia in 2003, but operates freely in Ukraine and most European countries. Marlen Asanov, Timur Ibragimov, and Memet Belyalov stand accused of "organizing the activities of a terrorist organization" (Part 1 of Article 205.5 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation). The prescribed penalty ranges from 15 years in prison to a life sentence.
The other five men are accused of participating in a terrorist organization (Part 2 of the same Article 205.5 of the Criminal Code of Russia) with a possible penalty of 10 to 15 years in prison. All eight are also being accused of preparing a violent coup (Part 1 of Article 30, Article 278 of the Criminal Code of Russia).
All defendants plead not guilty of terrorism and say they are being persecuted on political and religious grounds.
On December 29, 2022, following the retrial in the case against citizen journalist Ernes Ametov, the Southern District Military Court in Rostov-on-Don (Russia) sentenced him to 11 years in a high-security prison.
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