DUSHANBE (Reuters) - Tajikistan has arrested 113 people charged with being members of Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist organization outlawed in the Central Asian nation, Prosecutor General Yusuf Rakhmon said on Tuesday.
Among those arrested over the course of this month were two foreigners, one municipal official, and more than 20 university professors, he told a briefing.
The government of the predominantly Muslim ex-Soviet republic has been cracking down on Islamist opposition in recent years, banning the Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan and accusing its leadership of plotting a coup.
Tajikistan has also blamed Islamists, and the ultra hardline Islamic State militant group in particular, for a series of deadly attack on foreign tourists and local prison staff and border guards.
The Brotherhood, founded more than 90 years ago in Egypt, has survived repeated crackdowns at home and has a network of groups across the Middle East and beyond, some directly linked to the Egyptian organization and others more loosely affiliated.
Its founder Hassan al-Banna called for a religious revival and the establishment of a caliphate under sharia law.
The Brotherhood’s opponents, including several autocratic Arab states, say it is a dangerous terrorist group which must be crushed. The movement says it publicly renounced violence decades ago and pursues an Islamist vision using peaceful means.
Reporting by Nazarali Pirnazarov; Writing by Olzhas Auyezov, Editing by William Maclean
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