Hizb ut-Tahrir activists convicted in Tajikistan
By Stan Rogers
KHUDZHAND, Tajikistan — The Khudzhand city court sentenced four men to prison for belonging to the extremist Hizb ut-Tahrir organisation, news media reported June 24.
Gulomdzhon Zokirov and Ismolibek Mamedov (17 years in prison each), Shukhrat Sharipov (18 years) and Alisher Madzhidov (two years) were found guilty of plotting to overthrow the government and of organising a criminal society.
Human rights organisations have accused Central Asian governments of using the Islamist threat as a pretext for imprisoning their critics. But security analysts warn that such movements are finding some support as frustration over poverty grows.
Tajikistan has imprisoned more than 76 defendants this year for belonging to banned extremist groups.