Archive for the ‘HuT – Kyrgyzstan’ Category

Osh has 800 Hizb ut-Tahrir members, interior ministry says

Saturday, 11 December 2010 11:49
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Central Asia Online

By Erkin Kamalov

OSH – Osh and Osh Oblast have about 800 Hizb ut-Tahrir members, Osh Interior Ministry official told AKIPress December 9 after a meeting regarding extremists in Osh.


Security agencies have recently captured 18 Hizb ut-Tahrir members and 10 members of other extremist groups, such as Vakhabi, Salafiya and Akhmabiya. Officials have all the information about the extremist groups and have power to fight them, the official added.

The BBC reports on the work of the global non-violent political party Hizb ut-Tahrir in Southern Kyrgyzstan. The 3min video report looks at the Party’s growing appeal and its call for the return of the Khilafah (Caliphate). In addition members of Hizb ut-Tahrir share their views about the global situation of the Islamic Ummah and method for non-violent political change.

Click Here to Watch Video (External link)

Hizb ut-Tahrir plays on instability, attempts to recruit new members in Kyrgyzstan

By Aibek Karabayev


Special forces subdue a man in an anti-terrorism drill outside Bishkek May 23, 2007. Hizb ut-Tahrir is using the country’s instability in an attempt to attract new members in its effort to build a Central Asian Islamic caliphate.[REUTERS/Vladimir Pirogov]

BISHKEK – As Kyrgyzstan recovers from April’s governmental ouster and June’s ethnic clashes, Hizb ut-Tahrir has been seeking to recruit new members.


The militant Islamic organisation has increased the number of leaflets it is circulating nationwide, said Hizb ut-Tahrir’s Bishkek co-ordinator, who gave only his first name, Akhmed. The leaflets are printed in Bishkek, not brought from the country’s south as intelligence officers and journalists once thought.


Hizb ut-Tahrir recruiters are actively working in the capital after wooing numerous Kyrgyz in southern regions after the disturbances in Osh.


“We’ve started making more leaflets since June,” Akhmed said. “We are not sure, though, that the demand for them has increased – we are not in contact with the end users who will become visible only after we shift to open struggle. But I think 50,000 to 60,000 new members have already been recruited in Bishkek.”


Hizb ut-Tahrir describes itself as a moderate organisation seeking to establish a caliphate by peaceful means, Akhmed said. The government and many analysts say otherwise, and the organisation is listed among terrorist groups in Kyrgyzstan and in neighbouring countries.


GSNB has found ammo, extremist literature linked to Hizb ut-Tahrir


“We should bar our kids from religious extremism from the cradle,” former parliamentarian Orzubek Nazarov said.

Officers of the State National Security Service (GSNB) found a secret ammunition depot September 15 near Uzgen, Osh Oblast. It belonged to a Hizb ut-Tahrir follower.


During searches of the homes of southerners charged with fanning inter-ethnic strife, police confiscated extremist leaflets and other items. Some of those were identified as Hizb ut-Tahrir property, Akpar Zhokhonov of the Osh prosecutor’s office said.


“I wouldn’t advise younger people to interact with Hizb ut-Tahrir, whose ‘peaceful’ methods look very questionable,” Mullah Bekpolot Sarizoda of a Bishkek mosque said.


An official statement by the Interior Ministry said the organisation’s goals include “eliminating Kyrgyzstan as a state, abolishing secularism and establishing a single caliphate on the territories of several regional countries.” Special services do not differentiate between Hizb ut-Tahrir and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU), a GSNB source told Central Asia Online.


“We must fight against both, since they are equally dangerous to this country’s future,” the source said. “At this difficult historical time, people cherishing dreams of a caliphate must be seeking to destroy the country.”


Although barred from parliamentary elections, Hizb ut-Tahrir is supporting some political parties in the election, Kadyr Malikov, head of the Religion, Law and Politics independent analytical centre, said in Bishkek.


Extremism must be fought off, people say


Security analyst Togtogul Kakchekeyev warned Kyrgyzstanis against disseminating the group’s teachings.


“Imagine a village where all residents are infected with plague,” he said. “A war breaks out, and the sick villagers are sent to resettle all across the country. The disease will soon spread to the entire nation.”


“I wouldn’t advise younger people to interact with Hizb ut-Tahrir, whose ‘peaceful’ methods look very questionable,” Mullah Bekpolot Sarizoda of a Bishkek mosque said.

As Hizb ut-Tahrir intensifies its recruitment people are finding leaflets left in their mailboxes and by their doors.


“People have been bringing those leaflets to my police station,” police officer Zhakyp Razzakov of Dzhalal-Abad said. “We think (Hizb ut-Tahrir) is trying to play on our current difficulties. But no sensible person will ever go over to its side. Our people are devoted believers who regularly go to the mosque, where the mullah explains that real Islam has nothing to do with extremism.”


“We should bar our kids from religious extremism from the cradle,” former parliamentarian Orzubek Nazarov said. “We have to fight against it.”

Alexander Voinov, ex-head of the State Agency for Physical Culture and Youth Affairs, suggested engaging teenagers in sports, arts or reading – anything to distract them from religious extremism, alcohol and drugs.


“Extremists are akin to drug addicts: they dream of overthrowing the government, just as junkies dream of getting high on drugs,” he said. “It doesn’t matter what you are actually doing – shooting at people or circulating leaflets. Evil is evil.”


No state programmes to combat extremism have emerged because the government is so new, but the issue remains high on the agenda, both the Youth Affairs Ministry and State Committee on Religion said.


Razzakov, a father of three, wants to “protect both my own sons and all children of Kyrgyzstan against extremism. We’ve all suffered too much. What we need today is peace – something Hizb ut-Tahrir will not give us, ever.”



Islamic Group Quietly Builds Support in Kyrgyzstan

Kyrgyz government seems to be unable to stop the growth of popular support for Hizb-ut-Tahrir in the south.
By Anonymous – Central Asia
14 Oct 08

The Islamic group Hizb-ut-Tahrir is going from strength to strength in southern Kyrgyzstan, where many analysts say it is winning the struggle for hearts and minds despite an official ban on its activities. The Kyrgyz government’s tactics of arresting members and blocking public events staged by the group appear to be helping it find new recruits rather than sapping its strength, as it positions itself to articulate the discontent and social concerns of broad swathes of the population.

Some observers are now calling for a more sophisticated response, including training mainstream Muslim clerics to a higher standard so that they are equipped to deliver counter-arguments to Hizb-ut-Tahrir’s claims, and offering people other channels through which to express their concerns.


Hizb-ut-Tahrir originated in the Middle East and gained a foothold in Central Asia in the Nineties after the collapse of the Soviet Union. It first took hold in Uzbekistan, where it remains strong despite the arrest of thousands of alleged members in recent years. It then spread to neighbouring Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Kazakstan, initially through the ethnic Uzbek communities there but subsequently gaining ground among other population groups.

The group advocates the replacement of secular governments by a Caliphate governed by Islamic precepts. Although it insists it does not advocate violence as a means of achieving its aims, regional governments have accused it of being behind a number of attacks, and have prohibited its activities and arrested suspected members on a regular basis.

Unlike other regional states, the Kyrgyz criminal code does not explicitly ban Hizb-ut-Tahrir membership, although the country’s Supreme Court issued a ruling prohibiting the group from operating in 2003, and the constitution prohibits faith-based political parties in general.

Despite sweeping arrests in Uzbekistan, and smaller numbers of detentions in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, the group still seems to attract members, in part because its message speaks to socially and economically marginalised groups in a way that government seems unable to do.

In southern Kyrgyzstan, it is thriving and finding new ways of engaging with an overwhelmingly Muslim population on issues that concern them rather than on its own specific agenda.

A few years ago, Hizb-ut-Tahrir’s standard medium of communication was leaflets stuck up in public places by activists. These days, they put out the word on CDs and DVDs. A boom in Chinese imports has created a glut of DVD players that are inexpensive even for southern Kyrgyzstan, the worst-off part of a poor country. IWPR was told by locals that most families had a DVD machine and the Hizb-ut-Tahrir films were watched “with interest”.


Members say their next DVD release will contain footage of Eid al-Fitr celebrations marking the end of Ramadan in the southern town of Nookat. Islam is strong here as it is across the Kyrgyz south – Nookat district has 150 mosques, compared with 110 schools.

The group’s role in this event, and the response of local government, provide an object lesson in how the authorities struggle to find an adequate response – they do not want to allow Hizb-ut-Tahrir free rein, but using tough tactics to stop it can prove counterproductive.

Abdygany Aliev, head of the Nookat district administration, said officials would have been happy to support the Eid celebrations but drew the line when they felt Hizb-ut-Tahrir was hijacking the event.

He said the trouble began on October 12, when about 300 party supporters turned up on the main square in Nookat along with ordinary Muslims keen to mark the end of the fasting period with a traditional feast.

“At first, we welcomed the initiative to hold a big celebration of the Muslim feast,” said Aliev. “But Hizb-ut-Tahrir activists started using this event for their own ends.

Before the Eid festival, about 1,000 people signed a petition calling on the government to fund the celebrations, and also to pay for a new state school for girls who want to follow the Muslim dress code.

Hizb-ut-Tahrir members told IWPR they helped with logistical arrangements for the party.

“When we announced the holiday, ordinary Muslims responded, with some giving rice and others [cooking] equipment,” said one of the organisers, 66-year old Jibek Asanova from the village of Kara-Oy.

A member of Hizb-ut-Tahrir who gave his name as Khalil, added, “Over 10,000 invitations were distributed, tightrope walkers were brought in from a neighboring district, a free lottery was held, and we decided to treat people to pilaf cooked outside,” says other person who also

However, police stepped on and blocked the street celebrations. “The police wouldn’t let the tightrope perform do their act, and made us cook the pilaf at home and bring it to the square.”

“When the Muslims went off for Eid prayers, the police took away our pilaf cauldron, foodstuffs and other items,” said Khalil. “Several young men involved in preparing the event were detained and beaten up.”

Aliev confirmed that police stepped in but said they only did what was necessary and acted “within the bounds of the law”.

Hizb-ut-Tahrir says the authorities’ actions caused widespread discontent among Nookat residents, and the event transformed into a demonstration involving some 15,000 people.

“Ordinary Muslims and even schoolchildren condemned the actions of government,” said Khalil. “They protested openly and cursed the officials. After all, pilaf and other kinds of events are allowed during other holidays.”

Activists say that having lost control, the local officials had to call in a different kind of authority – known Hizb-ut-Tahrir members – to pacify the crowd.

The protest had tapped into a complex set of locally-felt feelings of resentment.

“People should be aware of the shameful behaviour of our authorities who defaced a sacred holiday,” said another Hizb-ut-Tahrir activist, who did not want to be named.

“These officials are Muslims as well, so why are they putting pressure on us?” asked Asanova. They celebrate the Christian holiday [sic] of New Year and they gave a prize of 50,000 soms [1,400 US dollars] for the best tree…. Why don’t they give us that money?”


Local government chief Aliev insists Muslim celebrations are being exploited for use in Hizb-ut-Tahrir’s propaganda campaign.

It is a view shared by Dilmurat Orozov, the director of the Centre for Islamic Education, who added that on another occasion where local officials did attend a similar event, Hizb-ut-Tahrir turned this to its advantage, too.

“They filmed one of the Muslim festivals that was attended by the local authorities,” said Orozov. “Later they used the footage to suggest that the festival had been organised by Hizb-ut-Tahrir and the local authorities came along to it.”

Observers have noted how Hizb-ut-Tahrir, which a few years ago was a covert group whose only visible presence was its covertly-circulated leaflets, is now using issues that have broad public appeal to reposition itself as a legitimate force in the political mainstream. Last year, for example, as Kyrgyzstan was discussing the need to revise its constitution, Hizb-ut-Tahrir sent a draft of its own – outlining the foundations of an Islamic state – to the national newspapers, which did not publish it.

Arkarbek Sadabaev, deputy head of the government’s State Agency for Religious Affairs, told IWPR earlier this year that that activists “openly travel around and make speeches in all parts of the country…. collect money, lay on meals and hold charity campaigns to draw people in”.

Sadabaev noted that the group was careful to avoid anything that might get them into legal trouble. “They know that unless they openly campaign to change the constitutional system, they cannot be charged solely for belonging to the party,” he said.


Hizb-ut-Tahrir’s ultimate aim remains the removal of the current secular state. On an official website it describes itself explicitly as a “political party” which will restore the Caliphate of the early days of Islam.

“Officials have always tried to keep people in awe and talk to Muslims from a position of strength, but they have not won people’s trust. People are disappointed with democracy and the government,” said Khalil.

Kyrgyz officials insist Hizb-ut-Tahrir is a real threat, and that it is funded from abroad

“The more pressure the state puts on them, the more money they receive from abroad,” said Aliev. “It hasn’t been proved, but they do get money from abroad. How else would they have the money to stage such celebrations?”

Despite Hizb-ut-Tahrir’s stress on non-violence, Kyrgyz officials allege that weapons have been found during raids on members’ homes, and also that the group is linked to another radical group, the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, IMU

The IMU is a guerrilla group which mounted a series of armed incursions into Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan between 1999 and 2001. It lost the capacity to mount such raids after the United States-led Coalition entered Afghanistan in late 2001, sweeping the Taleban and their IMU allies out of the north of the country. The IMU’s forces are now believed to be concentrated in Waziristan in northwestern Pakistan, from where its leader Tohir Yuldash makes occasional videoed statements aimed at people in Central Asia.

In the case of both Hizb-ut-Tahrir and IMU, the situation is complicated by the cross-border connection with Uzbekistan, where the government has taken a much tougher line on suspected Islamic radicals and has urged its Kyrgyz counterparts to do the same. This pressure intensified after the Andijan violence of May 2005, in which security forces shot down several hundred people on the city’s central square. Many people fled across the nearby border to southern Kyrgyzstan, and Presdient Kurmanbek Bakiev’s administration came under strong pressure to cooperate with Uzbek security servuces seeking to snatch alleged militants among the refugees.

Several leading members of both Hizb-ut-Tahrir and the IMU were killed in Kyrgyz police operations last year, some of which involved the Uzbek secret service. In perhaps the most notorious incident, Kadyr Malikov, a prominent Islamic cleric in southern Kyrgyzstan, Mohammadrafiq Kamolov, was shot dead with two other men in what Kyrgyz security sources said was a counter-terrorism operation conducted jointly with their Uzbek counterparts.


Orozaly Karasartov, head of public affairs in the Jalalabad regional administration, admits that apart from police methods, the state lacks the tools to counter the Hizb-ut-Tahrir phenomenon.

“In terms of ideology, the state cannot do anything against them because there are so few experts in the state and security bodies,” said Karasartov. “I see no way of fighting them other than punitive measures based on criminal law”.

Karasartov insists that tough action will not lead to Hizb-ut-Tahrir recruiting more members.

Many analysts disagree. Valentina Grizenko of Spravedlivost (Justice), a human rights group which has taken up cases of Hizb-ut-Tahrir activists alleging police mistreatment, said using force against the group was counterproductive.

Grizenko recalled a case from 2004 when the police brutally beat up four Hizb-ut-Tahrir members as well as another man who was not a member. The result, she said, was that this fifth man went on to join the party.

She noted that the men filed a law suit against the police but lost the case despite the existence of forensic medical reports stating that they had been beaten up.

Party activists told IWPR that repressive measures and demonstrably flawed legal processes only proved their case and boosted their recruitment

“Let the government prevent us from conduction of holidays, persecute us and put pressure on us. They only help us by doing that,” said one man, who claimed that thanks to government repression, membership was on the rise. He said the group only had about 2,000 supporters in the south of Kyrgyzstan ten years ago, but now there were 30,000 of them.

“We consciously chose this path and agreed to the risk of death,” said one activist. “We fear only God.”

Other party members said the threat of imprisonment was no deterrent. “Prison is untilled soil for us,” he said. “There, too, we will do what we do.”


Hizb-ut-Tahrir belongs to the Sunni branch of Islam that is practiced in Central Asia. But its radical stance, vigorous proselytising, and fragmented cellular structure all mark it out from the normal practice of faith in Kyrgyzstan, where the Islam is officially the preserve of a Soviet-era hierarchical institution called the Muftiate which maintains close ties with the secular state.

Many observers say the Muftiate and lower-level clerics are simply not up to the job of confronting a new radical religious strand with its radical, dynamic language.

Observers say Hizb-ut-Tahrir activists deliver their message in clear and simple terms, citing chapter and verse from the Koran and other literature. A police investigator who did not want to be named said half in jest that if he questioned a detained Hizb-ut-Tahrir suspect for a couple of months more, he himself might get recruited into the party.

Meanwhile, the traditional clergy – the mosque prayer-leaders or imams – are not sufficiently versed in the finer points of theology to be able to explain things clearly to their congregations and take the intellectual and moral high ground against Hizb-ut-Tahrir.

“Unfortunately, our imams are unable to resist them,” said Nookat local government chief Aliev.

Orozov, now director of the Centre for Islamic Education, formerly headed the Muftiate’s department in Jalalabad for nine years, and says that even the national-level body is short on competence, while local imams are worse.

“These [Muftiate] people are unqualified and lack authority… never mind the imams,” he said. “We need to replace our imams with young, educated people.”

Toygonbek Kalmatov, director of the government agency in charge of religious affairs, said in September that of the 12,000 imams in Kyrgyzstan, 70 per cent have had no formal theological training. That may, however, be partly because only two theological faculties are currently entitled to issue nationally recognised diplomas, while the Islamic University and other teaching institutions are not.


Khalil, one of the Hizb-ut-Tahrir members interviewed for this report, said that the group is already looking forward to the next big date in the Muslim calendar, Eid al-Adha, known here as Kurban Bairam, which will fall in January.

During the run-up to last year’s festival, Hizb-ut-Tahrir mounted a campaign for the abolition of the secular New Year holiday, which in Kyrgyzstan is of Soviet origin.

Now they are viewing the next Eid holiday as an opportunity for a new trial of strength with the Kyrgyz authorities. It looks like a win-win situation whether officials opt to pay for the celebrations or not.

“If they prohibit [sic] this holiday again, it will cause mass discontent among even average Muslims,” said Khalil. On the other hand, “If they will organise the celebrations themselves, they will have to admit they made a mistake during the last one.”

Abdumomun Mamaraimov is an IWPR contributor in Jalalabad, southern Kyrgyzstan.


This is a short article in which journalists in countries like Uzbekistan and Kyrgyz give us a glimpse of Hizb in these failed or failing countries. It is rather horrifying because these countries are 80 to 90 percent Muslim which  was bitterly suppressed by the Soviet Union. If Hizb is able to control the political future of these nations you might see the beginnings of the Khalifah.

PDF: MICA22E-Grebenshikov


Monday, 22 November 2010 23:56

Bishkek, November 22, Interfax – A senior emissary of the banned radical Islamic organization Hizb ut-Tahrir has been arrested in southern Kyrgyzstan, a source in the State National Security Service (SNSS)’s press service has told Interfax.

“On November 19, 2010, SNSS officers arrested a local resident and activist of the Hizb ut-Tahrir extremist religious organization in the southern Jalal-Abad Region,” the source said, adding that the “man held a senior post in the Hizb ut-Tahrir hierarchy in Kyrgyzstan”.

Books, magazines, booklets and electronic materials propagating extremist activity in the Kyrgyz, Russian and Uzbek languages were found in his home, the source said.

A criminal investigation has been launched.


So, how can a party which claims to be non-violent be banned for violence? Whose lying? Any bet


Hizb ut-Tahrir blamed for Violence in Kyrgyz South

Plans for new restrictions on Islamic groups following killings of police and soldiers in the south.
14 Jul 06

The Kyrgyz authorities are planning a series of measures to curb the activities of radical Muslim organisations after blaming the outlawed Islamic group Hizb-ut-Tahrir for a spate of violent incidents in the south of the country.

Hizb-ut-Tahrir professes to use non-violent means to achieve its goal of a “caliphate” or Islamic state, but Kyrgyzstan and other countries in the region allege that its members have been responsible for a string of fatal shootings and bombings in recent years.

Most recently, the group has been linked to two clashes in southern Kyrgyzstan. On July 14, the news agency reported that security forces confronted a group of five Kalashnikov-wielding militants in the city of Jalalabad, killing all of them.

The five were reported to be part of a larger group behind the July 9 killing of a traffic policeman, who was shot at point blank range, in Jalalabad, and the injuring of two policemen and a civilian in a shootout in the same area the following day.

Fifteen people were arrested after these shootings, and interior ministry spokeswoman Aida Bakirova said at least three of them were Hizb-ut-Tahrir members.

These incidents came as 300 soldiers continued an operation in the Batken region mounted after a suspected Hizb-ut-Tahrir attack on Kyrgyz and Tajik frontier posts on May 12, which left six Kyrgyz and three Tajik soldiers dead.

In their sweep of the border region, the soldiers are said to have found substantial evidence connecting those involved in July 9 shootings with the May attacks, including guns, ammunition, Hizb-ut-Tahrir literature, compact discs and audiotapes.

The authorities say six men arrested and charged with involvement in the earlier attacks are active members of the outlawed movement. “ [An] investigation was able to gather indisputable evidence that all the people charged are members…” said the prosecutor for the Batken region, Ryskul Baktybaev.

“During the investigation and interrogations, all six admitted they were guilty and did not hide that they were followers of radical Islam. Their goal was to commit a series of terrorist acts on the territory of the Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan.”

In the immediate aftermath of the May attacks, there was much speculation about the identity of the culprits. Hizb-ut- Tahrir was suspected along with the militant Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, IMU, but some suggested that the raid was the work of common criminals, possibly drug smugglers.

Prosecutor Baktybaev said it was now clear that Hizb-ut-Tahrir was no longer the “peace-loving organisation” of the early Nineties when it first appeared and that followers were involved with other extremist Islamic groups in the region.

“There is a direct link between members of Hizb-ut-Tahrir and the IMU,” he said.

Nurnek Tokoev, an officer in the Kyrgyz National Security Service, said support for Hizb-ut-Tahrir was growing, and warned that Islamic militancy threatened the state.

“[It] has greater number of supporters in Kyrgyzstan than any political party registered in our country; according to unofficial statistics there are already around 10,000 of them. Furthermore, they are very secretive, which makes it difficult for special services to detect them,” he said.

On July 12 – before the latest clash – senior Kyrgyz official Adakhan Madumarov said the state planned to introduce a number of measures to curb the activities of radical Muslim organisations, including tightening controls on outside funding and restrictions on visits by foreign clerics.

“Our country is a paradise for religion. So in the interests of security of the citizens of Kyrgyzstan, it is time to start controlling the visits of religious figures – who come to our country in great numbers – and control what they preach. The state is obliged to know about this,” he said.

Kanat Tyukeev, an independent researcher at the Peaceful Asia centre, said the time had come for the authorities to do more to stop the spread of religious extremism.

“Religious organisations use extremism to achieve their goals. For Kyrgyzstan and Central Asia, this is the main source of danger. Ignoring this problem is the height of carelessness.

“Our country is too small to withstand the growing activity of the extremist groups Hizb-ut Tahrir and IMU… conducting subversive activity in the Fergana Valley.”

Any sign of militancy in southern Kyrgyzstan rattles the government, and Hizb-ut- Tahrir and the IMU make obvious suspects, even though the former publicly disavows violence and the IMU has not repeated the guerrilla raids of 1999-2001 since its forces were scattered along with its Taleban allies when the US-led Coalition attacked northern Afghanistan in late 2001.

As a result, not everyone agrees there is a coordinated Islamic insurgency waiting to happen.

Kyrgyzstan’s human rights ombudsman, Tursunbay Bakir Uuly told IWPR, “When armchair analysts say the main threat to Kyrgyzstan comes from the dissemination of Hizb-ut-Tahrir ideas or religious extremism, I don’t think they’re aware of the realities. If they’d engaged closely with Hizb-ut-Tahrir members or negotiated with IMU leaders as I’ve done… they wouldn’t suggest these two organisations are the same. They are two opposing trends that hate each other and accuse one another of not being real Muslims.

“Going on about Hizb-ut-Tahrir and other organisations just gives them extra publicity.”

Taalaibek Amanov is an independent journalist in Bishkek.



Sunday, 25 July 2010 15:54

BEYKEBAT, Kyrgyzstan – A member of the Hizb-ut-Tahrir, extremist group, was arrested in the Beykebat village of Dzhalal-Abad Oblast, media reported July 23, citing the Interior Ministry’s information office. The 40-year-old alleged extremist, whose name is not announced because the investigation is continuing, had 24 DVDs and videocassettes and other extremist materials with him when he was arrested.