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Uzbekistan: About 5,000 listed as extremists in Andijan Region

February 16, 2010

The following article is from UzNews.net.

About 5,000 listed as extremists in Andijan Region
©  UzNews
February 15, 2010

Uznews.net – A total of 4,744 people have been blacklisted as alleged members of religious extremist groups in Uzbekistan’s Andijan Region.

The Rapid Reaction Group-Uzbekistan said that a special commission, made up of national security and police officers, government officials and public figures, alleged, using unreliable methods, that 1,540 people (including 71 women) were members of the Wahhabi current, 1,996 (269 women) were members of the Hizb-ut Tahrir Islamic party, 1,182 (123 women) were members of the Akromiya group, 14 were from Tabligi Jamoat and 12 were followers of the Nur group.

The commission’s criteria for identifying extremists are simple: those who made foreign trips, practised Islam and regularly prayed in mosques are prime suspects. Family members of convicts on religious extremism charges are automatically regarded as extremists.

It is not clear what would happen to more than 4,700 residents of Andijan Region. “They will only be watched now, but it is not clear what will happen to them. We will see,” the head of the Rapid Reaction Group, Suhrobjon Ismailov, has said.

He added that there had been no similar reports from other regions of Uzbekistan, suggesting that this was done in Andijan Region because it was the country’s densest region with the worst socioeconomic situation, high unemployment and low living standards.

“Perhaps, the situation in Andijan Region, unfortunately, remains a breeding ground for radicalism,” he said.

[End.]

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