Uzbekistan: 2 convicted for teaching radical Islam

An Uzbek court has convicted two men for running a school where they allegedly taught radical Islam to children, official media said Wednesday. The city court in the capital, Tashkent, sentenced Shoakmal Nosirov and Farkhod Muminov to nine and 6 years in prison, respectively, on charges of religious extremism and anti-constitutional activity as followers of the austere Wahhabi sect of Islam, a government-run Web site said. The court "fully" proved their guilt through evidence such as books, CDs and tapes with "extremist" content that had been seized from them, the report said. Rights advocate Surat Ikramov said, however, the extremism charges against Nosirov and Muminov had not been proven during the trial and that the pair was being prosecuted only for organizing a summer camp for about 50 children under 14, where they studied the basics of Islam and had Quran reading contests.