Russia: Persecution of Crimean Tatars

In Russia, TrialWatch secured a key decision from the UN on the persecution of Crimean Tatar religious minorities. Server Mustafayev, a 32-year-old Crimean human rights defender, was prosecuted and convicted before a military court for membership in a terrorist organization: the charges were based on his involvement in Hizb ut-Tahrir, an Islamic political group that is banned in Russia but operates legally in Ukraine.

He was sentenced to 14 years in prison, with the TrialWatch Fairness Report finding that his trial was riddled with irregularities and that the authorities improperly applied Russian law to occupied Crimea.

TrialWatch and Gibson Dunn & Crutcher challenged Mustafayev’s conviction before the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, which urged Russia to immediately release Mustafayev.

Mr. Mustafayev’s trial was marred by egregious violations of due process that deprived him of any semblance of a fair trial as required under international law.

Marryum Kahloon Associate at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP