2007-03-15 16:36:00

Leader of illegal religious organization convicted in Uzbekistan

Tashkent, March 15, Interfax - The Andizhan Regional Court has sentenced illegal religious organization leader Dmitry Shestakov to four years in prison, a court source told Interfax on Thursday.

"The Andizhan Regional Criminal Court has found Dmitry Shestakov, the leader of an illegal religious organization, guilty on two charges and sentenced him to four years imprisonment," the court said.

He was found guilty of establishing an illegal organization and of distributing materials endangering security and order, the source said.

Using special books, video and audio recordings, Shestakov held meetings and gave lectures that incited racially motivated discord and insulted people from other religions, he said.

"Shestakov was warned about his illegal activities in 1997 and 2004, but he did not respond to the warnings, and a criminal case was eventually opened against him," a source in the Uzbek Committee for Religious Affairs told Interfax.