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SIMFEROPOL, February 3. /TASS/. Crimea's mufti Emirali Ablayev said on Friday adepts of extremist sects, including members of the cells of Hizb-ut Tahrir organization, which is banned in Russia as an extremist grouping, have stepped up their activity in the peninsular region of late, the Islamic Religious Department of the Republic of Crimea said in a report upon the end of a roundtable conference titled 'Extremist Sects as a Threat to the Crimean Tatar People'.
"Participants in the roundtable expressed concern over the intensification of their (extremist sects') activity of late," a statement issued by the department said. "Along with it, Emirali Ablayev said a surge in the activity of Hizb-ut Tahrir, the Habashis (the Tauride Islamic Council), Moslem Brotherhood, and the Salaphites brings in discord into the Crimean Tatar community, misleads the Moslems, and breeds tumult among believers.
It pointed out the continued efforts by Hizb-ut Tahrir to drawn youngsters into its ranks. "The grouping turns the young into cannon fodder for foreign politicians, makes people clash with one another and instigates violations of law that bring about arrests and prosecution under law," the statement said.
"Their arrests are interpreted as perscution of Moslems and Crimean Tatars and no explanations are offered for the fact the real reasons lie in the violations of law, which bans the activity of certain radical religious organizations," the statement said.
Officials at the department asked the regional authorities "to step up support for traditional official Islamic institutes" and to assist in informing Crimean Moslems on "the detriments of extremist movements" in order to prevent "recruiting and the spread of destructive cults.
Hizb-ut Tahrir al-Islami (Islamic Liberation Party) is an international religious and political network that was set up in 1953 to supplant non-Islamic government and to reverse the Moslems to what it claims to be a truly Islamic way of life.
In Russia, the Supreme Court put Hizb-ut Tahrir to the federal list of extremist organizations in 2003.
Natalya Poklonskaya, the former Prosecutor of the Republic of Crimea who is now a deputy at the State Duma, told TASS in April 2016 Hizb-ut Tahrir had had a cell in Crimea for many long years, as the authorities in Ukraine, which Crimea used to belong to, permitted its existence there.
In 2016, the forces of law and order detained eleven suspected disciples of Hizb-ut Tahrir who engaged in the operations of local cells of the grouping. Two of them had been sentenced by a court in Rostov-on-Don.
Another five men were detained and placed to custody on October 13, 2016. They were Timur Abdullayev, Rustem Islamailov, Aider Saledinov, and Emil Djemadenov, all of them suspected of involvement in the activities of a terrorist organization.
At the end of last month, police searched the house of a local resident in the house of Bakhchisarai. He was arrested to twelve days for an extremist wrongdoing.
Zaur Smirnov, the chairman of Crimea’s State Committee for Inter-Ethnic Relations, described these searches as an operation to expose the people suspected of affiliation with Hizb-ut Tahrir.
Officials at the Crimean offices of the Interior Ministry and the Federal Security Service (FSB) refrained from comments on the information.