August 1, 2007 (RFE/RL) -- Kazakh authorities say 30 suspected members of an illegal Islamic group went on trial today in central Kazakhstan, RFE/RL's Kazakh Service reported.
Authorities accuse the 30 of belonging to the banned Hizb ut-Tahrir group, and are suspected of trying to recruit new members. They have been charged with membership in an illegal organization and inciting religious discord.
Kazakh National Security Committee spokeswoman Botagoz Ibraeva told RFE/RL's Kazakh Service that some of those on trial are leaders of the group.
"Among those facing trial are leaders throughout all the regions, financial managers, and publishers of their literature," Ibraeva said.
Law-enforcement agencies in Central Asia say they usually confiscate Hizb ut-Tahrir's booklets and other literature, which usually call on people to overthrow their government and create an Islamic state in Central Asia.
Hizb ut-Tahrir says it seeks to achieve its aims by nonviolent means.
The group is banned throughout Central Asia, Russia, and in some Western European countries.
(with material from AP, Interfax)