Odessa has become a kind of “safe haven” for members of the extremist group Hizb ut-Tahrir al-Islami , banned in Russia, Kazakhstan and many other countries.
The Ukrainian edition of “Country” found out what the Hizb are doing in the south of Ukraine.
Prior to the annexation of Crimea to Russia, the Crimean police and the SBU repeatedly searched and opened criminal cases against the Crimean Tatars, who were suspected by law enforcement officers of the autonomous republic to participate in Hizb ut-Tahrir *. However, these criminal cases have not reached the ARC before the trial – officially in Ukraine, this Muslim organization is not prohibited.
Actually, the mass emigration of members of this group to Ukraine began even before 2014. However, even after the Maidan, the Ukrainian special services and the police continued to treat them extremely suspiciously.
This is evidenced by several detentions of emigrants – members of Hizb ut-Tahrir while crossing the border between Ukraine and Russia. For example, in 2017, by decision of the prosecutor’s office, the Odessa police detained Ildar Valiyev, a citizen of the Russian Federation from Kazan, a member of Hizb ut-Tahrir, right at the airport.
After the detention, the Russians were placed in the SIZO and began to prepare for extradition. However, after two weeks, the court changed the preventive measure for Valiev and ordered the HMSU, the migration service, to consider the possibility of granting him political asylum.
There are also several dozens of attempts by the State Migration Service of Ukraine to deny political asylum, which extremists have requested. In the open register of judicial decisions of Ukraine, there are 21 resolutions with respect to citizens of the Russian Federation – members of Hizb ut-Tahrir.
After 2014, the position of Ukrainian law enforcement and migration services regarding extremists has not changed significantly – they are still very reluctant to provide political asylum. In response, Hizb ut-Tahrir members go to court. However, the courts, although they are “cautious”, appointing many examinations regarding the essence of the political activities of this organization, nevertheless, they recognize the refusals of the HMSU to provide asylum to the Hizb as illegal.
Here is one of the most “recent” decisions of the Odessa Regional Administrative Court on this subject.
This court decision considers a lawsuit against the HMSU of one of the prominent figures of the Russian branch of Hizb ut-Tahrir – Hasan Hajiyev. The Migration Service wanted to deny him political asylum, in turn, the court took the side of the Russians.
In addition to the 31-year-old Hasan Hajiyev, of whom it is known that he worked in Dagestan, in Makhachkala, a dental technician and was actively involved in political activities, promoting the ideas of Hizb ut-Tahrir, several of his colleagues from this organization found refuge in Odessa.
This is an entrepreneur from Dagestan Abakar Abakarov, a sambo and jujutsu trainer Arslan Mirzoev, known under the pseudonym Ali Charinsky, as well as two married couples Lenar and Leysan Galimovs, Ruslan and Irina Farrahovs.
All members of Hizb ut-Tahrir al-Islami from Russia, in Odessa, are still in limbo, living here for a temporary residence permit and are awaiting the granting of political asylum to them.
That, however, did not prevent members of an extremist organization from establishing a private school, “Khadzhibey” (the name of the village that was located on the territory of modern Odessa during the Ottoman Empire), with an emphasis on learning the basics of Islam in line with the views of this group.
Information about the school is on the Internet – a Facebook page is dedicated to it.
However, it is rather difficult to immediately find the Odessa school “Khadjibey”, founded by members of Hizb ut-Tahrir – on its page in the FB there is a completely different address that leads to the suburban village of Chernomorka on Orekhovaya Street 4.
The school is located in a large building with four floors, photo: “Country”
The educational center “Hadzhibey”, founded by Abakar Abakarov, Hasan Hajiyev and Arslan Mirzoyev (Ali Charinsky), “Country” found a completely different address – in the elite district of Odessa, on Orehova street 4 at 16 Bolshoi Fontan station. The school is located in a fairly large, even for this area, private building – four floors, counting the attic, and the school site takes at least three dozen acres.
Hasan Hajiyev, photo: Facebook
Getting to the school “from the street” is almost impossible – the intercom when the button is pressed is silent. The contact phone number on the school page in FB is “chronically” silent. However, the fact that the school exists is indicated by the WiFi address found near the house – Hajibey. The password to the school’s WiFi “corresponds” is the traditional greeting to Allah in Islam. And near the school on the wall is painted in red letters a huge graffiti – “ARAB».
The school, founded by extremists of a clearly closed type, is designed for children to live there permanently – it is noted on the page in FB that it even has a kindergarten. The school’s advertisements state that thirty children are already constantly studying there, and the education at Khadzhibei corresponds to “high standards of education for the younger generation of Muslims.”
In the curriculum – both ordinary subjects and religious. For example, from the first grade, students learn “fiqh” – Islamic law and norms of behavior in society, “tajvid” – the rules of reading the Quran, the biography of the Prophet Muhammad.
In the higher grades, students study, besides the usual school subjects, even programming and political science. Much attention is paid to the study of languages - Russian, Ukrainian, Arabic and Crimean Tatar. In addition, sambo and jiu-jitsu are studied in school. Sam Arslan Mirzoev – Ali Charinsky, who once trained at the famous Russian sports school “Sambo-70”, teaches Sambo and Jiu-Jitsu.
Ali Charinsky near the Kremlin, photo: Facebook
In the open access there is also information about the cost of education in “Hadzhibei” – $ 250 for incoming students, $ 300 – with permanent residence in the school.
In the school lists of the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine there is no mention of the existence of a private school founded by members of Hizb ut-Tahrir in Odessa. And the house itself at Orekhovaya 4, where the Hadzhibey school is located, belongs to the Odessa businessman who resides in Spain – Alexander Edelshtein.
As it was already written above, even before the times of Maidan, Ukrainian law enforcement officers were very suspicious of a group that was banned in many countries of the world.
In addition, the Hizb people in the Crimea had tense relations with the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatars *. Its leaders saw them as competitors in the struggle for influence on the Crimean Tatar community, accusing members of Hizb ut-Tahrir of extremism, calling them provocateurs who discredit the Crimean Tatars and Muslims in general.
But after the annexation of the Crimea to Russia in 2014, the position of the Mejlis somewhat changed on the basis of the struggle against the common enemy.
However, Ukrainian law enforcement officers, as can be seen from the criminal cases described above, are still wary of this organization, whose members are now beginning to massively move from the Crimea and Russia to Ukraine. This is a constant reason for Moscow’s indignation, since criminal cases have been opened against many of them in Russia.
In addition to Odessa, another large Hizb enclave exists in Western Ukraine.
As for the Crimea, the Russian authorities continue to clean up the peninsula from the members of the group. The last raid occurred just the other day , when 20 people suspected of participating in this organization were detained at once.
As noted by the FSB, members of the cell divided and preached the doctrine of creating the so-called “world caliphate”, the destruction of institutions of secular society, the violent overthrow of power. During the meetings, they spread terrorist ideology among Crimeans and recruited them into their ranks.
In turn, in Ukraine and in the EU they condemned these detentions.
In addition to Russia, the organization is banned in Germany and in most Muslim countries. In the US, Hizb ut-Tahrir is one of the groups that operate by non-violent methods, but which promote the spread of extremist sentiment among Muslims.
* Prohibited extremist organization in the Russian Federation
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