CIS countries to unite against slave trade

The Monday night session of the Council of Interior Ministers of the Commonwealth of Independent States ended with the adoption of a Protocol and the signing of an agreement on measures to counteract slave trade.

As Khumdin Sharipov, Tajik Interior Minister who presided over the session, told journalists, the issues discussed during the session included the activities of a drug control department-a body affiliated with the Bureau for Coordinating Measures to Combat Organized Crime and an Operations Group controlling drug-combating efforts in the Central Asian region.

Touching on antiterrorist activities, Russia's Deputy Interior Minister Vladimir Vasilyev stressed that religious extremists were united "by the same goals, the same brutal methods, the same funding resources." "Many religious extremists encourage slave trade and hostage-taking as a substantial resource of finance," he added.

For the first time in the history of the Council of CIS Interior Ministers, participants in the session have discussed human traffic and adopted an agreement on the subject, Vasilyev said.

On his part, Sharipov reported religious extremists from Hizb ut-Tahrir were known to be acting on Tajik territory. 200 members of this illegal party have been arrested here lately, he said. "Investigation revealed that many of them had been involved in murders, robberies and pillage," he emphasized.

Participants in the session also signed an agreement appointing a representative of the Council of Interior Ministers to the CIS Executive Committee.

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