314 suspected members of Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist organization outlawed in Tajikistan, have reportedly been discovered in Tajikistan this year so far.

The last session of the Majlisi Milli (Tajikistan’s upper chamber of parliament), presided over by its head, Mahmadsaid Ubaidulloyev, took place in Dushanbe on March 19. 

Speaking at the session, Tajik chief prosecutor Yusuf Rahmon reported on work carried out against members of the organizations banned in the country.

According to him, 314 Muslim Brotherhood suspects have been discovered in Tajikistan this year so far and 154 of them have been taken into custody.  

“The law enforcement authorities of the country are continuing the work on discovering and detaining other members of this banned organizations,” said Yusuf Rahmon.  “Among those arrested are about twenty university professors and one municipal official from Isfara.”  

Recall, Tajikistan’s Prosecutor-General Yusuf Rahmon told reporters in Dushanbe on January 28 that 113 people have been arrested in the country on suspicion of being members of the banned Muslim Brotherhood group.

Law enforcement authorities in the northern Sughd province last month instituted criminal proceedings against twenty local residents on suspicion of being members of Muslim Brotherhood.  Among them are residents of the cities of Khujand, Isfara and Istaravshan as well as the Bobojon-Ghafourov district. 

Tajikistan banned the Muslim Brotherhood as an extremist group in 2006 and it faces a similar ban in 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 Tajik northern province of Sughd for allegedly being members of the Muslim Brotherhood movement. They were accused of receiving funds from abroad and of spreading the movement’s ideology in Tajikistan, ultimately seeking to overthrow the secular government in the country.

Tajik chief prosecutor also noted that law enforcement authorities last year instituted criminal proceedings against 214 people on suspicion of being members of the outlawed Salafi group. 

The Tajik authorities banned Salafism as an illegal group on January 8, 2009, saying the Salafi movement represents a potential threat to national security and the Supreme Court added Salafists to its list of religious groups prohibited from operating in the country.