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Samarkand Resident Sentenced For Propagating Shi'ite Islam

The chairman of the Samarkand branch of the Uzbekistan-Iran Friendship Society has been sentenced for propagating Shi'ite Islam.

Media reports in Uzbekistan said Ravshan Gulyamov has been sentenced to five years in jail for "illegal missionary activities." Investigators said Gulyamov regularly received leaflets and books propagating Shi'ite Islam from the Iranian Embassy and distributed them in local mosques in the Samarkand and Jizzakh regions.

Experts from Uzbekistan's Committee for Religious Issues said the materials confiscated from Gulyamov and his associates included "statements offending followers of Sunni Islam."

More than 90 percent of Uzbekistan's population of 30 million is Sunni Muslim.

Based on reporting by and Interfax