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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

6 Convicted of Links to Extremist Group

A Tatarstan court has sentenced five men to prison terms of 11 to 19 months on charges of being members of a banned radical Islamic group, rights groups said Wednesday.

The court handed down the sentences Monday in the city of Naberezhnye Chyolny, the Memorial Human Rights Center and Civic Assistance Committee said. A sixth man was sentenced to a two-year suspended sentence.

Prosecutors charged the men with belonging to Hizb-ut-Tahrir, a group that advocates the creation of an Islamic state but claims to reject violence.

The rights groups said the men were threatened, tortured and unlawfully pressured into giving testimony during a 1 1/2-year detention and closed-door trial.

Local and regional prosecutors refused to comment on the sentences or the allegations of mistreatment.