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Tajikistan Sentences 11 On Extremism Charges

DUSHANBE -- Tajik courts have sentenced 11 men to prison terms of up to 17 years after convicting them of membership in a banned Islamic group.

The Supreme Court said on April 1 that seven residents of Spitamen village in the northern Sughd region had been found guilty of being members of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) on March 31 and sentenced to prison terms ranging from nine to 17 years.

Three residents of the same village, accused of failing to report the seven to the authorities, were convicted as accomplices and received one-year prison terms.

In a separate case, a man from the Sughd region's Isfara District was sentenced to nine years in prison on March 31 for being an IMU member.

The IMU, which is active in Afghanistan and Pakistan, is designated by the United States as a terrorist organization and is banned in Central Asian countries and Russia.

It is believed to have links with Al-Qaeda and Taliban militants.

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