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Followers Of Sunni Missionary Group Detained In Tajikistan

DUSHANBE -- The Tajik Interior Ministry says that security forces have detained dozens of followers of Jamaat-ut Tabligh, a Sunni missionary group, in a mosque in Dushanbe.

Mahmadulloh Asadulloev told RFE/RL's Tajik Service that most of those arrested were released after being interrogated. "Only detainees suspected of being related to the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) will go through further checks," he said.

Relatives and colleagues of the detainees told RFE/RL that they have not received any information about the detainees, and described those arrested as Jamaat-ut Tabligh members who only promote Islamic values.

Sayidbek Mahmadulloev, the head of the religion department in the Tajik Culture Ministry, said Jamaat-ut Tabligh is not officially registered and that he doesn't know much about it. But he pointed to the new law on religion that registers all approved religious groups, allowing them to promote their values.

Zubaidulloh Roziq, an Islamic Renaissance Party activist, told RFE/RL that he is aware of Jamaat-ut-Tabligh's existence in Tajikistan. He said former students of Pakistani religious schools belong to the group and promote Sunni values, not only in Tajikistan but also in Bangladesh, Pakistan, Malaysia, and other countries.