Action Alert: Muslim cleric faces trial for ‘extremism’ in Russia

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Islamic Human Rights Commission
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1. Background

According to his defense lawyer Svetlana Avdzhayeva, witnesses in the trial of the Imam were tortured into making false allegations that Stepanenko had disseminated ‘extremist’ literature during his sermons. Additional concerns have been raised that the initial complaint made against him came from a man who was receiving treatment for psychiatric problems.

Stepanneko is back in court this week.

2. Action Required

a. Write to the Russian Ambassador to UK or the country where you live. A sample letter for UK campaigners (below) can be adapted:

HE Mr Yury Viktorovich Fedotov
Embassy of the Russian Federation
13 Kensington Palace Gardens
London W8 4QX

Fax: (020) 7727 8625
(020) 7-229-5804
E-mail: office@rusemblon.org

b. Write to the Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett to make representations to her Russian counterparts to work for Imam Stepanenko’s immediate release.

Rt. Hon. Margaret Beckett MP
Foreign & Commonwealth Office
King Charles Street
London
SW1A 2AH

Fax: +44 0207 839 2417
Email: private.office@fco.gov.uk

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Sample letter is given below for your convenience

Sample Letter to Russian Ambassador

[Your Name]
[Your Address]

[Date]

HE Mr Yury Viktorovich Fedotov
Embassy of the Russian Federation
13 Kensington Palace Gardens
London W8 4QX

Dear Mr Fedotov,

Re: Trial of Imam Anton (Abdullah) Stepanenko, of the Pyatigorsk mosque, Stavropol territory

I am writing to request you to work for the immediate release of Imam Anton (Abdullah) Stepanenko whose trial appears to be unfair and violates the basic rules of justice. There is considerable concern that witnesses in this case were tortured to help manufacture a case of ‘extremism’ against Imam Stepanenko.

Please do your utmost to ensure that this case does not turn into an even bigger miscarriage of justice and that Stepanenko is release immediately

I look forward to hearing from you soon on this urgent matter,

Yours Sincerely,

[Your Signature]

[Your Name]

Sample Letter to Margaret Beckett

[Your Name]
[Your Address]

[Date]

Rt. Hon. Margaret Beckett MP
Foreign & Commonwealth Office
King Charles Street
London
SW1A 2AH

Dear Ms Margaret Beckett,

Re: Trial of Imam Anton (Abdullah) Stepanenko, of the Pyatigorsk mosque, Stavropol territory, Russian Feceration.

I am writing to request you to work for the immediate release of Imam Anton (Abdullah) Stepanenko whose trial appears to be unfair and violates the basic rules of justice. There is considerable concern that witnesses in this case were tortured to help manufacture a case of ‘extremism’ against Imam Stepanenko.

Please make the most urgent and appropriate representations to ensure that this case does not turn into an even bigger miscarriage of justice and that Stepanenko is release immediately.

I look forward to hearing from you soon on this urgent matter,

Yours Sincerely,

[Your Signature]

[Your Name]

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“And what reason have you that you should not fight in the way of Allah and of the weak among the men and the women and the children, (of) those who say: Our Lord! Cause us to go forth from this town, whose people are oppressors, and give us from Thee a guardian and give us from Thee a helper.”
Holy Qur’an: Chapter 4, Verse 75

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Islamic Human Rights Commission
PO Box 598
Wembley
HA9 7XH
United Kingdom

Telephone (+44) 20 8904 4222
Fax (+44) 20 8904 5183
Email: info@ihrc.org
Web: www.ihrc.org
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