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Dozens Of Uzbeks Detained For Islamic Extremism

PRAGUE -- An Uzbek rights activist says some 60 practicing Muslims are being detained in southern Uzbek prison on religious extremism charges, RFE/RL's Uzbek Service reports.

Isroil Rizaev, from the Tashkent-based human rights organization Ezgulik (Benevolence), told RFE/RL that young practicing Muslim men in the southern Sirdaryo region were initially accused of extremism based on their affiliation with the new religious organization Birodarlar (Brothers).

But they are now being charged with being jihadists.

Rizaev said police who investigated the charges say that Avazbek Soipov is a leader of the Jihadists in Sirdaryo, which is about 100 kilometers from Tashkent.

Soipov, 33, was arrested on October 2.

His home was searched and religious documents were confiscated.

Soipov is being kept in pretrial detention in the region.

His mother, Dilbar Soipova, told RFE/RL that he is being accused of threatening Uzbekistan's constitutional system and has been tortured in jail.