Monday, May 21, 2012 -
Tajikistan is set to begin yet another mass trial – this time trying alleged members of Hizb ut-Tahrir (HT) – in the next few days, according to a Monday report by local news agency Avesta.tj.
HT is banned throughout Central Asia. The London-based organization calls for the overthrow of secular regimes that would be replaced with a caliphate.
Though Tajikistan outlawed the organization in 2001, it took the additional step to label it an extremist organization in 2008 to stiffen penalties against those convicted of membership.
The 12 defendants, hailing from the western Tajik towns of Tursunzoda and Rudaki, range in age from 18 to 30 years.
One judge told BBC Tajikistan that the current increase in HT court cases is the ‘third wave’ in trying to contain support for the outlawed organization.
The first wave occurred in the late 1990s to early 2000s, while the second took place in 2004 and 2005.
Tajik authorities are also trying 17 in northern Tajikistan for membership in outlawed organization Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU).