Trial of 116 suspected members of banned Muslim Brotherhood starts in Dushanbe
11 months ago Web Desk 0
The Supreme Court is considering criminal proceedings instituted against 114 nationals of Tajikistan and two nationals of Egypt.
Defendants’ defense lawyers refused to talk to Radio Ozodi, noting that the case has been classified as “top secret.” The defense lawyers reportedly did want to communicate with journalists and defendants’ relatives as well.
The arrests of suspected members of the Muslim Brotherhood group began in Tajikistan in January this year. The suspects have been detained in dozens of raids as Tajik authorities uncovered an alleged Muslim Brotherhood cell operating in the capital, Dushanbe, as well as in the Sughd and Khatlon provinces. Tajik police have reportedly arrested 113 people on suspicion of being members of the Muslim Brotherhood group.
Prosecutor-General Yusuf Rahmon told reporters in Dushanbe on January 28 that the suspects included 20 teachers and employees of various universities, two foreigners, and one official from the northern city of Isfara.
“The group’s goal is to forcibly overthrow the government and establish an Islamic state, and it has been banned as a terrorist and extremist organization in many countries,” Rahmon said.
The Muslim Brotherhood is a Sunni Islamist organization founded in Egypt in 1928 by the Islamic scholar Hassan al-Banna.
The group’s teachings have spread internationally and have influenced various Islamic groups, movements, and parties around the world — some of which do not use the same name.
The group claims to be peaceful but has been banned in many countries as an extremist organization.
Tajik authorities banned the Muslim Brotherhood as an extremist group in 2006 and it faces a similar ban in Central Asian neighbors Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. It is not banned in Kyrgyzstan.
It is considered a terrorist organization in Tajikistan, Syria, Egypt, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, and Russia but not in the United States or other Western countries.
In 2016, about 20 imams were arrested in the northern province of Sughd for allegedly being members of the movement. They were accused of receiving funds from abroad and of spreading Muslim Brotherhood ideology in Tajikistan, ultimately seeking to overthrow the secular government in Dushanbe.
Source: Asia Plus