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Tajik Islamic Party Official Sentenced To 14 Years In Prison

DUSHANBE -- Tajikistan's Supreme Court has sentenced an official with the opposition Islamic Renaissance Party (HINT) to 14 years in prison.

Sherik Karamkhudoev was found guilty on May 10 of founding an organized criminal group, organizing mass disorders, and illegal weapons possession.

Karamkhudoev, 46, was the chairman of the HINT branch in the troubled eastern province of Gorno-Badakhshan.

He was arrested in July during a military operation against armed groups in the province.

Karamkhudoev denied taking part in the fighting, and his party called his arrest politically motivated.

The HINT is the only Islamic party that is officially represented in the parliament of a post-Soviet country.

The military operation followed the killing of regional security chief Abdullo Nazarov.

In February, two men from Gorno-Badakhshan were sentenced to 16 and 17 years in prison for killing Nazarov.