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Convictions Of Alleged Tatarstan Terrorists Upheld

(RFE/RL) December 13, 2006 -- Russia's Supreme Court has upheld the convictions of five Muslim teenagers accused of planning a series of terrorist acts during celebrations last year to mark the millennium of Tatarstan's regional capital, Kazan.

In August, the highest court in Tatarstan sentenced the five to prison terms ranging between five and six years.

The defendants were also found guilty of being members of an illegal militant group, Islamic Jamaat. Prosecutors said members of the group were also suspected of carrying out a series of religiously motivated murders.

Rights activists said the defendants were framed. They also said the trial fitted a pattern of harassment of pious Muslims in an atmosphere of repression fed by the wars in Chechnya against Islamic militants and separatists.

A defense lawyer said the defendants would likely appeal to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

(compiled from agency reports)

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