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Kasymakhunov and Saybatalov v. Russia, Nos. 26261/05, 26377/06, ECtHR (First Section), 14 March 2013


Conviction for membership of an Islamic terrorist organization promoting pro-violence and antidemocratic ideas. Abuse of the right to freedom of religion, expression and association.

Normative references

Art. 9 ECHR
Art. 10 ECHR
Art. 11 ECHR
Art. 17 ECHR


By reason of Article 17 ECHR, members of a political organisation that promotes pro-violence ideas or puts forward a policy aimed at the flouting of the rights and freedoms recognised in a democracy cannot benefit from the protection of the Convention.
(In the present case, the two applicants were convicted for being members of the terrorist organization Hizb ut-Tahrir, for spreading its ideology and recruiting new members. In this regard, they alleged the violation of Articles 9, 10 and 11 ECHR. The Court found that the leaflets and brochures distributed by the applicants contained statements calling for violence. Moreover, it noted that the Hizb ut-Tahrir organization advocates and glorifies the Jihad in order to establish an Islamic regime that rejects democratic principles. On this basis, the Court considered that the applicants attempted to deflect the rights enshrined in Articles 9, 10 and 11 ECHR from their real purpose by employing those rights for ends that were clearly contrary to the values of the Convention. Consequently, the Court found that, by reason of Article 17 ECHR, the applicants’ complaints were incompatible ratione materiae with the provisions of the Convention and therefore inadmissible.