Terrorism

Kyrgyz man convicted of supporting ISIL

By Sanzhar Sharipov

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Convicted ISIL sympathiser Nurlan Motuyev is shown March 24, 2015, in Bishkek, when he expressed his support for ISIL. [MVD photo obtained by Sanzhar Sharipov]

BISHKEK -- Nurlan Motuyev, the leader of a political movement in Kyrgyzstan, is going to prison for his support of the "Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant" (ISIL).

The Sverdlovsk District Court in Bishkek August 23 sentenced him to seven years of prison for inciting terrorism.

The court found him as well of "inciting inter-ethnic, racial, religious or inter-regional hatred", the Supreme Court press office told Caravanserai.

To circumvent a ban on ISIL propaganda in Kyrgyzstan, "[last] November Motuyev intentionally placed pictures of [ISIL] militants ... on his Facebook page", the Supreme Court press office said.

Making the case against himself

Motuyev made his sentiments clear in a variety of fora: a news agency's site last November, a video interview that appeared online in January, and an interview with a Kyrgyz newspaper (Asia News) in February.

Armed with all the evidence that Motuyev had provided, authorities eventually acted.

"He was arrested in Bishkek May 12 during a forum organised by the NGO People's Parliament," State National Security Committee (GKNB) spokesman Ulanbek Jalildinov told Caravanserai. "During his speech, he urged ... everyone to start living according to mujahideen principles."

The State Commission for Religious Affairs (GKDR) May 13 concluded that Motuyev's speech contained ISIL propaganda, Jalildinov said.

Once questioned at his trial, Motuyev admitted his guilt and repented, Jalildinov said.

"Besides giving interviews to the media, Motuyev was active on social media networks," Jalildinov said. "His sympathy for [ISIL] became clear."

Motuyev, 47, is a detestable character who took up extremist views in an attempt to score political points, Bishkek political scientist Arslan Moidunov told Caravanserai.

"In March [2015], Motuyev said that he not only supported ISIL but was ready to launch an Islamic revolution in Kyrgyzstan," Moidunov recalled.

A possible threat in prison

The court handed down an appropriate sentence, but Motuyev might still be a threat behind bars, Moidunov said.

"He'll probably keep calling for 'jihad' even though he's going to prison," Moidunov said.

Authorities reportedly intend to keep him under observation in prison, to thwart any efforts by Motuyev to proselytise.

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