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Russia Jails Four On Islamist Charges

Four men who are said to be members of the Islamic organization Hizb ut-Tahrir have been sentenced to eight years in prison in the Urals city of Chelyabinsk.

Russia's Federal Security Service said on August 4 that the men were found guilty of being members of a banned terrorist group and of propagating extremist ideas.

Several members of the Hizb ut-Tahrir organization have been arrested or sentenced in recent months in the Chelyabinsk region, which borders Kazakhstan and Russia's mainly Muslim region of Bashkortostan.

Critics say such actions are often politically motivated.

Hizb ut-Tahrir is a global organization based in London that seeks to unite all Muslim countries into an Islamic caliphate.

Russia's Supreme Court banned the group in 2003, branding its supporters as "extremists."

Members of Hizb ut-Tahrir insist the group is peaceful.

Based on reporting by and Interfax