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Tajikistan Justifies Arrests By Citing Ruling On Extremism

DUSHANBE -- The Tajik Interior Ministry says the detention last week of 124 followers of the Sunni Muslim movement Jamaat-ut Tabligh is based on a 2006 decision by Tajikistan's Supreme Court declaring the religious group to be extremist and banning its activities, RFE/RL's Tajik Service reports.

Ministry spokesman Mahmadullo Asadullozoda told RFE/RL that four alleged members of the group are still detained and are being investigated.

He said further arrests are possible.

He said the other 120 detainees were released.

Asadullozoda said police and security forces have confiscated books and other publications by the group that they say proclaim the establishment of an Islamic caliphate as its main goal.

The Islamic revivalist movement says it is nonpolitical and nonviolent.