: RFE/RL: Crimean Tatars suspected of terrorism plead not guilty

11:24 Jun. 2, 2016

RFE/RL: Crimean Tatars suspected of terrorism plead not guilty

Photo from facebook.com/emil.kurbedinov

Suspected deny their participation in extremist group 'Hizb ut-Tahrir'

Four Crimean Tatars suspected of terrorism have pleaded not guilty at their trial in the Russian city of Rostov-on-Don.

The suspects rejected the charges of being members of the banned Hizb ut-Tahrir organization at the North Caucasus regional military court on June1st.

Watch also Crimean Tatar woman murdered on Russia-occupied peninsula

The four men were detained in Crimea in January-April. Four other Crimean Tatars were detained on May 12th on suspicion of being members of Hizb ut-Tahrir.

Russia has been heavily criticized by international rights groups and Western governments for its treatment of Crimea's indigenous Turkic-speaking people since Moscow annexed the peninsula in March 2014. Arrests, disappearances, and killings of Crimean Tatars have been reported.

Crimea's Moscow-backed de facto authorities are currently looking for Crimean Tatar activist Ervin Ibragimov, who disappeared on May 24th.

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