Bashkortostan Court Sentences 21 Men To Prison On Terror Charges

UFA, Russia -- A court in Russia's mainly Muslim-populated Bashkortostan region has sentenced 21 alleged members of a banned Islamic group to prison.

Relatives of the defendants told RFE/RL that the 21 men were handed prison terms on July 30 ranging from five to 24 years after they were found guilty of being members of Hizb ut-Tahrir.

Some of the defendants were also convicted of plotting to seize power.

Hizb ut-Tahrir is a global organization based in London that seeks to unite all Muslim countries into an Islamic caliphate.

Russia's Supreme Court banned the group in 2003, branding its supporters as "extremists."

Members of Hizb ut-Tahrir insist the group is peaceful.