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Tajik Islamic Party Activist Sentenced Over Wedding Video

DUSHANBE -- An Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan member has been sentenced to five days in jail for refusing to give authorities a video of an Islamic wedding, RFE/RL's Tajik Service reports.

Husniddin Sharofiddinov was detained in the northern Asht district on May 6 for ignoring a police order to turn over the video. His relatives say the police failed to notify them of his arrest.

Asht district court judge Shogufron Davronov said the police asked Sharofiddinov to lend them the video of the wedding but he refused and cursed police officers.

For the past 15 years, Sharofiddinov has earned money by videotaping weddings. He recently began recording Islamic weddings for the newlyweds, even though the authorities warned him several times not to.

The local branch of the Islamic Renaissance Party has protested Sharofiddinov's arrest as being politically motivated.

Local party leader Mirzo Hojimuhammad said the court hearing was marred by procedural violations, and no witnesses were called to testify.

Islamic weddings without alcohol, music, and dancing are increasingly popular in Tajikistan, and some imams make use of such occasions to push their own strict religious agenda.