22 April 2009, 14:06
Uzbekistan sentences Hizb ut-Tahrir leader, accomplices to lengthy prison terms
Tashkent, April 22, Interfax - Uzbekistan has sentenced a Hizb ut-Tahrir leader acting in the Ferghana Valley to 14 years in prison.
The Andijan Regional Court sentenced Mahmud Karimov, born in 1959, to 14 years in prison, a law enforcement source told Interfax.
"A group of his five accomplices were sentenced to lengthy prison terms along with Karimov," the source said.
All the defendants had been charged with an attempt to violently change the constitutional system, the establishment of a banned religious extremist or fundamentalist organization, and circulation of documents threatening public security, he said.
Karimov had been first sentenced to 14 years in prison for his activities as a Hizb ut-Tahrir member in 1999 but was amnestied in 2003.
Karimov said during his trial that, soon after his release, he was approached by one Abdurahim Tukhtasinov, a man responsible for Hizb ut-Tahrir activities in Uzbekistan, who had been on the wanted list on suspicion of committing a number of serious crimes.
"After I was released, Abdurahim Tukhtasinov approached me and said that he would send me $500 monthly from the money coming from abroad. I was instructed to propagate Hizb ut-Tahrir ideas throughout the Ferghana Valley and recruit new supporters. This was an instruction from one of the organization's leaders, Abu Rashta," Karimov said at the court.