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Tajik Police List Local Salafis

KHUJAND -- The local police chief in Tajikistan's Sughd Province told RFE/RL's Tajik Service that 156 people in the region have been listed as followers of Salafism.

He said legal action might be taken against the Salafis unless they change their religious practices.

Tajikistan's Supreme Court officially banned the Salafi branch of Islam on January 8.

Independent experts tell RFE/RL that such a listing is illegal since the court's decision only comes into force one month after it is announced. They add that the listed individuals have never stated that they are Salafis.

Salafism is a Sunni Islamic movement that bases its beliefs on the early era of Islam and rejects all other branches of Islam.