The Supreme Court of Tajikistan is considering criminal proceedings instituted against 103 people, suspected of being members of the banned Muslim Brotherhood group and supporting this group.

According to the Supreme Court, some of them are charged with financing terrorist crimes (Article 179 of Tajikistan’s Penal Code), creating a criminal group (Article 187 of Tajikistan’s Pena Code), public calls for extremist activities and public justification of extremism (Article 307 (1) of Tajikistan’s Penal Code), organizing an extremist group (Article 307 (2) of Tajikistan’s Penal Code) and organizing activities of an extremist group (Article 307 (3) of Tajikistan’s Pena Code).

Besides, fifteen of them are charged with not reporting information about members of the banned Muslim Brotherhood group to the law enforcement authorities (Article 347 of Tajikistan’s Penal Code). 

“The trial is open but not all those interested can attend the trial.  Since the number of defendants is large, it is difficult to transport them to a court, and therefore, the trial is being held in the pretrial detention facility,” the First Deputy Head of the Supreme Court, Shavkat Lutfullozoda, told reporters in Dushanbe on July 20.   

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. 

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.