Activism, Central Asia, Side Feature, South Asia

Mass Arrests of Hizb ut Tahrir Members in Russia and Uzbekistan – within the framework of cooperation of SCO Members

On the morning of September 15 during the so-called “special operation”, at least 18 Muslims were detained by the FSB and the Ministry of Internal Affairs in Moscow and the Moscow region. This was reported by the Memorial Human Rights Center with reference to the well-known human rights activist Bakhrom Khamroev.

According to the relatives of the detainees, the investigative actions began at 5 am in three districts of the Moscow region at once. During the searches, the security forces tried to find out whether the people had Hizb ut Tahrir publications, confiscated telephones and electronic media, as well as printed Islamic literature, including the Quran. Almost all of the detainees are Uzbeks, one of whom is a Russian citizen.

On September 16, the Main Directorate for Combating Terrorism and Extremism of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Uzbekistan reported on “suppressing the activities of the women’s wing of the international terrorist organization Hizb ut Tahrir” in the capital of Uzbekistan. 29 Muslim women in Tashkent and Tashkent region were arrested. According to the security officials, “they were actively engaged in promoting the ideas of the extremist movement “Hizb ut Tahrir” and recruiting supporters. Materials of an extremist nature were found in the houses and in the mobile phones of the detainees.” Then it was reported that 10 people were detained in the Almazar district of Tashkent, suspected of participating in the activities of Hizb ut Tahrir. And on September 17, the press service of the Central Internal Affairs Directorate of the capital of Uzbekistan announced the arrest of 12 more people suspected of participating in the activities of Hizb ut Tahrir. They were accused of having links with a well-known blogger, a native of Kyrgyzstan, Mahmudjon Kholdarov. In Uzbekistan, over 50 people were arrested on charges to participate in the activities of Hizb ut Tahrir over two days, 29 of whom are women.

At the same time, on September 17 in the capital of Tajikistan in Dushanbe, chaired by President of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon a meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the SCO member states took place. The President of the Russian Federation V.V. Putin participated in it via videoconference mode.

It is obvious that the arrests in Moscow and Tashkent were clearly “timed” to the SCO meeting held on September 17, 2021. The main topic of the SCO meetings has always been the so-called “fight against terrorism and extremism”. And after the Taliban came to power in Afghanistan, Russia, frightening Tajikistan with the Taliban and began to build up its forces at its military base: the 201st Motorized Rifle Division, located in this country, to strengthen its presence in Asian countries, taking advantage of America’s withdrawal from Afghanistan and the weakening her positions. Thus, once again Muslims are becoming victims in the struggle of the imperialist states for influence in the colonized Muslim countries.

Allah (swt) in the Quran said:

[وَإِذَا قِيلَ لَهُمْ لَا تُفْسِدُوا فِي الْأَرْضِ قَالُوا إِنَّمَا نَحْنُ مُصْلِحُونَ]

“When they are told, ‘Do not spread corruption in the land,’ they reply, ‘We are only peace-makers!’” [TMQ 2:11].

Shaikhetdin Abdullah