Kazan Court Upholds Sentence Of Closed Mosque Imam

 November 22, 2013

A court in Kazan has upheld the two-year prison sentence previously handed down to the leader of a disbanded mosque in Russia's republic of Tatarstan.

Tatarstan's Prosecutor-General's Office announced on November 22 that Imam Rustem Safin's sentence now comes into force.

Safin, 41, was sentenced in September to two years in jail for being a member of the banned Hizb ut-Tahrir Islamic group and for propagating the group's ideas among Muslims attending the Al-Ikhlas Mosque in Kazan.

In January, Kazan police evicted members of the Al-Ikhlas community from their mosque for "failure to repair the building," which belongs to the city.

In May, Tatarstan's Supreme Court ordered that the Al-Ikhlas Muslim religious group be disbanded for what it called "extremist activities."

Based on reporting by procrf.ru and Interfax