22 November 2012, 16:45
Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan activist convicted in Tajikistan
Dushanbe, November 22, Interfax - A court in southern Tajikistan has sentenced a 24-year-old member of the terrorist group Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan and Afghanistan's Taliban to twelve years in prison, the Tajik Supreme Court reported on Thursday.
The militant stood trial in Pyandzh, a city located 200 kilometers south of Dushanbe and close to the Tajik-Afghan border.
"Azamat Elmirzoyev, detained by the Tajik National Security Committee this summer, fought for the Taliban in Afghanistan in 2010-2011 and then moved to Pakistan to be trained at terrorist camps of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan," the report said.
"Elmirzoyev came to Tajikistan to form a terrorist organization," but security services apprehended him, the court said.
The former Taliban member was found guilty of membership in a criminal group (Part 2, Article 187 of the Criminal Code), terrorism (Article 179) and criminal conspiracy (Article 32). He will be jailed for twelve years in a high-security detention facility.
"The inquiry exposed his relations with members of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan in a number of CIS countries, including Russia and Uzbekistan. That episode was separated from the case," the report said.
The Tajik Supreme Court recognized 13 citizens as members of the outlawed Jamaat Ansarullah, a wing of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, in September.
The Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan advocates the violent toppling of secular governments in Central Asian countries and their transformation into Islamic states. The United States, Russia and some other countries have branded the organization as extremist. The movement is particularly active in the Ferghana Valley shared by Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan, as well as in Afghanistan, the country of its origin.
Tajik courts convicted 168 extremists in 2011. The indicator stood at 158 the year before and only 37 in 2009.