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Uzbek Court Convicts 9 For Religious Extremism

11 April 2005 -- A court in Uzbekistan today found nine people guilty of religious extremism and sentenced them to jail terms ranging from six to 13 years.

In one trial, the court found seven men and one woman guilty of religious extremism. The same court found another man guilty of the same charges at a second trial.

All were allegedly members of the banned Islamic group Hizb-ut Tahrir that calls for the peaceful overthrow of the regime in Uzbekistan and the establishment of an Islamic government.

Rustam Tulaganov was the defense attorney for all nine suspects. He said the evidence against his clients was flimsy and that the defendants had been tortured during interrogations.

The announcement of the verdicts sparked a small demonstration outside the court as relatives of the accused called the court decision unjust.