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Salafi Cleric Detained In Tajikistan

DUSHANBE (RFE/RL) -- Police in Dushanbe have detained the alleged leader of the banned Salafi movement, RFE/RL's Tajik Service reports.

Eshoni Sirojiddin and 40 followers were performing evening prayers in a mosque in Dushanbe's Zarafshon District when police detained them on June 23.

Sirojiddin's spouse, Sayfura, told RFE/RL that two of her sons were among those detained. She said her husband is neither a Salafi leader nor a follower.

Salafi is a Sunni Islamic movement that reveres the religious leaders of early Islam as exemplary models. In January, the Tajik Supreme Court officially declared the Salafi movement extremist and banned it.

The detention of Sirojiddin and his followers was the first action against alleged Salafis conducted by Tajik authorities.