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Two Imams In Siberia Sentenced For Extremism

Two Muslim leaders in the Russian city of Novosibirsk in western Siberia have received suspended sentences for propagating extremist views.

The court on May 27 sentenced university professor Ilkhom Merazhov and Imam Komil Odilov to one year in jail each.

The two went on trial in February after they had been charged with spreading the ideas of the Turkish cleric Said Nursi, the founder of the banned Nurcular movement.

The movement was banned in Russia in 2007.

Authorities say it propagates the idea of creating an Islamic state on lands where indigenous peoples speak Turkic languages.

Merazhov and Odilov pleaded not guilty.

They said that they will appeal the sentence.

Based on reporting by RIA-Novosti and Interfax