September 25, 2006 -- A Tashkent criminal court has sentenced seven people to between 10 and 13 years in jail for religious extremism.
Uzbek rights campaigner Surat Ikramov says all seven defendants reportedly confessed to being members of the banned radical religious grouping Hizb ut-Tahrir.
Ikramov quotes lawyers for the defendants as saying their clients pleaded guilty under duress.
The verdict was reached behind closed doors on September 23.
Arms and leaflets allegedly confiscated from Hizb ut-Tahrir members in Kyrgyzstan in May (RFE/RL)
ATTRACTIVE TO THE YOUNG: It is virtually impossible to estimate the size or composition of Hizb ut-Tahrir's membership in Central Asia, because the controversial movement is banned in most places. But some observers say anecdotal evidence suggests the group's core of younger members is growing....(more)