Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Kazakhstan: 5 Sunnis under prosecution after studying Wahabi Islam in Saudi Arabia, one already sentenced


Two other Sunni Muslims who lived and studied their faith in Saudi Arabia remain under investigation in pre-trial detention.

Times of Ahmad | News Watch | US Desk
Source/Credit: Forum 18 News
By Felix Corley | April 18, 2017

Of five Kazakh Sunni Muslims facing criminal prosecution after studying their faith in Saudi Arabia, one has already been sentenced, two face imminent trial and two remain in pre-trial detention. The trial of Nariman Seytzhanov is due to begin in Kokshetau on 25 April.

The case of a second Sunni Muslim who studied their faith in Saudi Arabia has been handed to court. Arrested in January, 27-year-old Nariman Seytzhanov faces trial on charges of "inciting religious hatred or discord" under the broadly-framed Criminal Code Article 174, Part 1. The trial is due to begin in Kokshetau in Kazakhstan's northern Akmola Region on 25 April.

Another Sunni Muslim and a former student of Medina University in Saudi Arabia, 33-year-old Denis Korzhavin, was arrested in the southern city of Almaty in mid-February under Criminal Code Article 174, Part 1. The criminal case also appears to have been handed to court for trial.

On 7 April, at the end of a closed trial, a court in the north-eastern city of Pavlodar sentenced Sunni Muslim Kuanysh Bashpayev on the same charges to four and a half years' imprisonment to punish him for talks he gave on his faith between 2008 and 2011. He had been arrested in October 2016 on his return to Kazakhstan from Saudi Arabia. He denied "inciting religious hatred or discord" and plans to appeal against his conviction.

Two other Sunni Muslims who lived and studied their faith in Saudi Arabia remain under investigation in pre-trial detention.

Satimzhan Azatov – who had been fined with Seytzhanov in November 2016 for a religious meeting in a cafe - was arrested in the capital Astana in early January. He is being held in the city's National Security Committee (KNB) secret police Investigation Prison facing the same charges of "inciting religious hatred or discord".

Imam Abdukhalil Abduzhabbarov was extradited from Saudi Arabia and then immediately arrested on arrival at Almaty Airport on 18 February. A court in Oral (Uralsk) extended his pre-trial detention on 11 April for a further month. His brother was denied a meeting with him in prison and prison authorities refused to allow the brother to hand on a copy of the Koran for him.


Read original post here: Kazakhstan: 5 Sunnis under prosecution for studying Saudi Islam, one sentenced


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