Kyrgyz Police Detain Women Allegedly In Banned Islamic Group

By RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service

BISHKEK -- Kyrgyz police have detained several women who allegedly are members of a banned Islamic group.

The southern Osh region's police department said 15 women were detained on February 24 in the Kara-Suu district on suspicion of being members of Hizb ut-Tahrir. 

The committee said investigators found books containing possible extremist materials. The books were sent for theological and linguistic analysis.

Arrests of alleged members of Hizb ut-Tahrir and other banned Islamic groups have increased since the beginning of 2015 in Kyrgyzstan.

Kyrgyz authorities say Hizb ut-Tahrir plays a role in a strategy used by Al-Qaeda and Islamic State militants to radicalize youth and recruit them to fight in Syria and Iraq.

Hizb ut-Tahrir, which is banned across Central Asia and in Russia, says it is a peaceful group.

The stated goal of the international pan-Islamic political organization is to unite Muslim countries in global caliphate ruled by Shari'a law.