DUSHANBE -- The trial of eight suspected members of the banned Islamic movement Hizb ut-Tahrir has resumed in Dushanbe, RFE/RL's Tajik Service reports.
Yusufjon Hafizov, Kamolkhon Salohiddinov, Sobirjon Abdulhomidov, Davlatyor Qurbonov, Tolib Nurov, Soleh Rahmonov, Alijon Yusufov, and Abdurahmon Karimov went on trial last week on charges of inciting national, religious, and ethnic hatred.
Some of them are residents of Tajikistan's northern Sughd region, where Hizb ut-Tahrir enjoys particularly strong support.
The others are from Dushanbe and the southern Khatlon region. The youngest of the suspects is 26 years old and the oldest is 43.
The case was investigated and brought to court by the State Committee for National Security.
Relatives of Hafizov and Salohiddinov told RFE/RL today that those two men were arrested in Dushanbe several months ago, and the six others were arrested some time later in different parts of the country.
Some relatives said the authorities wanted to charge the men with planning to blow up the Roghun hydropower station, which is currently under construction. The relatives said they believed that charge was baseless.
But some family members have admitted that some of the suspects are indeed members of Hizb ut-Tahrir and some of them have spent several years in jail for belonging to allegedly extremist religious organizations.
If found guilty of the charges against them, they could receive prison terms of between 10-12 years.
The presiding judge, the state prosecutor, and lawyers for the accused declined to comment on the case until it is over.