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Tajik Court Hands Out Stiff Sentences To Hizb Ut-Tahrir Members

A provincial court in Tajikistan has sentenced four men to lengthy prison terms after finding them guilty of membership in a banned religious extremist group.

The Soghd court ruled that the four were members of Hizb ut-Tahrir.

The court sentenced Yakhekhon Rakhmonkhujaev and Abdunabi Abdulkodirov, said to be the leader of Hizb ut-Tahrir in northern Tajikistan, to 20 years in jail.

The two other defendants were sentenced to 22 years in prison because they were apprehended with weapons and narcotics.

Abdulkodirov's testimony was used in the recent case of BBC correspondent Uronboy Usmonov, who was tried by a Tajik court for membership in Hizb ut-Tahrir and received a three-year jail sentence on October 14 but was immediately freed under an amnesty.

with agency reports