Accessibility links

Breaking News

Tatarstan Court Upholds Evicted Mosque Members' Sentences

Rustem Safin, imam of Al-Ikhlas mosque in Kazan
Rustem Safin, imam of Al-Ikhlas mosque in Kazan
KAZAN, Russia -- A court in the capital of Russia's Republic of Tatarstan has upheld the sentences of two leaders of the Al-Ikhlas mosque.

Rustem Safin and Taufik Vasilov were sentenced on January 17 to five and seven days in jail respectively.

Five other mosque members were sentenced to several days in jail.

All were detained on January 16 for resisting their mosque's eviction.

The building is city property and has been used as a mosque rent-free since 2004.

Several days ago, city authorities requested that the building be vacated, citing "the failure of the mosque's leaders to repair the building."

Last year, Safin was fined for organizing several illegal public gatherings, and authorities have also accused him of using symbols associated with extremist Islam.