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Tajikistan Sentences Islamic Party Official To Nine Years In Prison

Tajikistan's Supreme Court has sentenced a former official from the banned Islamic Renaissance Party (IRPT) to nine years in prison after convicting him on charges of terrorism and religious extremism.

The ruling against Hasan Rahimov, the IRPT chief in the southern Farkhor district, is the first sentencing for up to 23 IRPT officials who've been jailed or placed under investigation since the party was outlawed.

RFE/RL quoted sources at the Supreme Court as saying on November 30 that other charges against Rahimov include inciting racial and religious hatred and illegally possessing weapons.

Rahimov's relatives said he was sentenced in a closed-door trial on November 27.

Tajik authorities suspended the party in late August.

On September 29, the Supreme Court ruled that the IRPT was an "extremist and terrorist organization" and banned it.

Thirteen leading IRPT members were arrested in September on suspicion of taking part in a mutiny led by Deputy Defense Minister Abduhalim Nazarzoda.

Nazarzoda was dismissed and then killed during a battle east of Dushanbe in mid September.

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