REUTERS

Prominent Crimean lawyer Emil Kurbedinov has said a preliminary hearing on three Crimean Tatars will be held at the Southern District Military Court in Rostov-on-Don, Russia, on January 9.

"The next political trial will be launched of three Crimean Muslim Tatars whom Russia accuses of terrorism...," he wrote on Facebook.

Kurbedinov said his client, Rustem Emiruseinov, faces life imprisonment, while other defendants in the case, Arsen Abkhairov and Eskender Abdulganiev, may face up to 20 years in prison.

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During the preliminary hearing, the lawyers of all the defendants will participate via video conference from the Simferopol pretrial detention center.

As UNIAN reported earlier, on February 14, 2019, Russia's FSB Federal Security Service detained three Crimean Tatars after raiding their houses.

According to the Russian media, the men are suspected of setting up a "terrorist cell" and participating in the Hizb ut-Tahrir organization, which is designated as a terrorist network in the Russian Federation. At the same time, human rights activists say the detainees are active participants in the Crimean Tatar movement, which is engaged in defending Crimean Tatars' human rights in Russian-occupied Crimea.