On 15 January, Imam of a Simferopol Mosque of occupied Crimea, Rasim Dervishev went on trial, charged with “unlawful missionary work” (which is an administrative offense).
As reported by Social Union Krymska Solidarnist (Ukr. “Crimean Solidarity”) on Facebook, the trial against Simferopol Imam Rasim Dervishev, charged with violation of p.4 Ar.5.26 of Administrative Offences Code of the Russian Federation (performing missionary work in violation of legislation on freedom of religion and religious unions) was held at “Magistrates Court of Kyiv District in Simferopol”. The occupational authorities considered holding Friday preaching at a mosque with further leading of prayer in a congregation as “unlawful missionary work”.
According to attorney Mr.Ayder Azamatov quoted by Krymska Solidarnist, FSB and police officers arrived at the mosque on 3 December 2019:
“They filmed him on camera, and now the Imam is accused of an administrative offense. Performing a prayer is by no means missionary work. I believe that’s a mere case of pressure upon the Imam, according to whom, there was no one at the mosque but the regular parishioners, so there was nobody to perform any missionary work for.”
During the trial, the Media’s petition for photo and video recording of the hearing was denied. The prosecutor assistant filed a petition on having of witnesses, while the attorney filed a petition for conducting a Psychological and Religious studies expertise of photo and video evidence.
The court hearing was postponed until 17:00, 22 January. The agenda includes hearing the petitions fled, as well as having two witnesses, Mr.Dzhelialov and Mr.Murtazaev.
Activists recall that similar administrative hearing was held at the “Magistrates Court of Kyiv District in Simferopol” against Mr.A.Kantemirov, Imam of Salgir Baba mosque (Zarichne village of Simferopol district). He had also been charged with violation of p.4 Ar.5.26 of Administrative Offences Code of the Russian Federation (performing missionary work in violation of legislation on freedom of religion and religious unions). Yet on 28 August 2019, Judge Chumachenko ruled to return the case papers to the officer who drew up the protocol.