A Dushanbe court has resumed a trial against six suspected members of the banned Islamist extremist group Hizb-ut Tahrir (HT), news reports indicated on Tuesday.
Three of the six men facing charges hail from the northern Soghd region, where HT counts many supporters and from where scores of individuals have been arrested for suspected membership of the forbidden organization.
The other three men come from Tajik capital Dushanbe and the Khatlon province, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) reported on Tuesday.
The trial began last week. Several relatives of those charged told RFE/RL that Tajik authorities wanted to charge the men with attempting to blow up the Rogun hydropower dam, a charge which the relatives denounced as without merit.
Mountainous Tajikistan has been working on the construction of the giant hydropower dam which it hopes will produce enough energy to power the nation through the arduous winter months.
Other relatives, who also were not named by RFE/RL, admitted that some of the suspects are HT members who have been imprisoned for belonging to extremist religious groups.
If convicted, the six men – Yusufjon Hafizov, Soleh Rahmonov, Alijon Yusufov, Tolib Nurov, Kamolkhon Salohiddinov and Abdurahmon Karimov – could face prison terms of between ten to 12 years.