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Former Guantanamo Inmates Go On Trial In Tajikistan

August 7, 2007 (RFE/RL) -- Two former inmates at the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, have gone on trial in Tajikistan, RFE/RL's Tajik Service reported.

A Supreme Court judge said Mukit Vohidov and Ruhniddin Sharopov illegally crossed the Tajik border into Afghanistan in early 2001 and joined fighters of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan.

They were detained in Afghanistan in 2002 and sent back to Tajikistan from Guantanamo in March 2007.

The same month, a Tajik court sentenced another former Guantanamo inmate, Ibrohim Nasriddinov, to 23 years in prison on murder and weapons charges. Nasriddinov was accused of supporting Al-Qaeda and the Taliban and receiving terrorist training in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Request For Release

Meanwhile today, Britain has asked the United States to release five British residents from detention at Guantanamo. The request was made by British Foreign Secretary David Miliband in a formal letter to U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

None of the five men are British nationals, but they had been granted refugee status in Britain before they were detained.

The British government had previously said it could not intercede for non-British citizens detained at the U.S. facility. British officials said they asked for the prisoners' release in response to U.S. steps taken to reduce the number of inmates at Guantanamo and "to move towards the closure of the detention facility."

(with material from agency reports)

Copyright (c) 2007. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036. www.rferl.org

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