Tajik court convicts Panj District resident of spreading IS propaganda


KHATLON PROVINCE, Tajikistan -- The Panj District Court sentenced local resident Rustam Mengatov to six years in prison for spreading "Islamic State" (IS) ideas, Asia-Plus reported Thursday (February 7), quoting the Tajik Prosecutor-General's Office.

Mengatov graduated from a madrassa in Bokhtar and was previously convicted of bigamy before he allegedly underwent combat training in Afghanistan. In 2015, he moved to Turkey, where he joined IS, according to the Prosecutor-General's Office.

In April 2017, Mengatov reportedly returned to Tajikistan to recruit residents of Panj District to fight in Syria.

About 1,900 Tajik citizens have fought alongside IS militants in Syria and Iraq in recent years, according to Tajik authorities.

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