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A court in Uzbekistan has handed out jail sentences to a group of men accused of taking part in a banned Muslim group.

Bakhtiyar Makhamatov and Nematilla Sakhibov were convicted of membership in the Hizb ut-Tahrir organisation and sentenced to seven years in prison.

Six other detainees received six-year prison sentences on charges of membership in the cell run by Makhamatov and Sakhibov.

Hizb ut-Tahrir is a pan-Islamic movement with adherents throughout the Muslim world.

It is outlawed in most nations. International human rights groups have accused Uzbek President Islam Karimov of using an alleged terrorism threat in the country as a pretext to repress opposition to his rule.

compiled from agency reports

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