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Uzbekistan Sentences Convicted Militants


http://gdb.rferl.org/671D19D9-3285-47CE-A1F0-D310DC428614_w203.jpg --> http://gdb.rferl.org/671D19D9-3285-47CE-A1F0-D310DC428614_mw800_mh600.jpg 25 August 2004 -- An Uzbek court yesterday sentenced 15 people to jail in connection with a wave of violence that killed almost 50 people in Uzbekistan earlier this year.

Two of the defendants were sentenced to 18 years in prison. Eleven others were handed jail terms ranging from 11 to 16 years.

The wives of two suicide bombers were also sentenced -- with one getting six years in prison, the other 10 years. All of the defendants had pleaded guilty to the 17 charges against them.

The trial was the first against those accused of involvement in shootouts and suicide bombings that swept Uzbekistan in March and April.

Other trials are due to follow, with dozens more suspects in custody. Human-rights campaigners have charged that the guilty pleas were obtained through torture and have questioned the validity of the proceedings.

(RFE/RL's Uzbek Service/AP)
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