DUSHANBE, November 3 (Itar-Tass) — Three Tajik citizens have been sentenced to long prison terms – from eight to nine years – for involvement in the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, presiding judge at the Sogdi regional court Anvar Temurov told reporters on Thursday.
"All the three persons were convicted under Article 187 of Tajikistan's Criminal Code [organization of criminal group]. They will service their sentences in a tight security penitentiary. The guilty verdict emphasized that the defendants, beginning from 2006, have been active members of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, whose activity is banned in Tajikistan, while a number of countries, such as Russia and the USA, have put it on the list of terrorist organizations. Tajik secret services arrested the convicted persons in July 2011.
Police in the Sogdi district which borders on Uzbekistan, have arrested 33 activists of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, and seven religious extremists from the Hizb-ut-Tahrir organization this year.
The Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (sometimes called the Islamic Movement of Turkestan) was set up in the mid 1990s by Uzbek Opposition activists. Radicals joined it later. Its units fought on the side of the Opposition in Tajikistan’s Civil War, and helped the Taliban in Afghanistan.
After suffering a defeat, armed units of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan moved to Pakistan. According to Tajik secret services, they were involved in a number of act of terror against law-enforcement bodies in 2010 in the north of the country, and participated in anti-government raids in the foothills of the Pamir mountains in Tajikistan in 2009-2010.