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Homeland Security

Former Guantanamo inmates go on trial in Tajikistan

RIA Novosti

07/08/2007 13:54 DUSHANBE, August 7 (RIA Novosti) - Two former detainees at the U.S. military base in Guantanamo have gone on trial in Tajikistan, the press center of the Central Asian republic's Supreme Court said Tuesday.

Mukid Vokhidov and Rukhniddin Sharipov, both natives of Tajikistan, have been charged with illegally crossing the state border and participating in an armed conflict as mercenaries.

"In early 2001, both men illegally crossed the Tajik-Afghan border, becoming mercenaries in Afghanistan in a unit under the command of Dzhuma Namagoni, the leader of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan [a militant Islamist group]," a press officer said.

In November 2001, they were detained by soldiers of Afghan General Dustum, who turned them over to the Americans as part of the anti-terror coalition, and were transferred to the U.S. military base in Guantanamo, Cuba.

Vokhidov and Sharipov were released and handed over to Tajikistan in 2006 without charges from U.S. or Afghan authorities.

According to the republic's Foreign Ministry, about 10 Tajik nationals have been repatriated from Guantanamo, the last three in March 2007.

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