MOSCOW, March 3 (RAPSI) – A court in Russia’s Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug has found four local residents who joined the ranks of the terrorist organization Hizb ut-Tahrir, banned in Russia, guilty of extremism crimes and subjected them to suspended prison terms, RIA Novosti reported on Friday.

According to investigators, four residents of Nizhnevartovsk city joined the international terrorist organization Hizb ut-Tahrir al-Islami. They were active members of the group, campaigning and advocating in favor of organization, trying to create a positive opinion of its activities.

The court found that defendants propagated nationalistic, political and religious extremist ideas using literature related to activities of Hizb-ut-Tahrir. Such literature and other extremist publications were seized during searches conducted by authorities.

In addition, defendants published propaganda videos in social networks, trying to create a negative and hostile attitude to the law enforcement services and Christianity.

Hizb ut-Tahrir (the Party of Islamic Liberation), founded in Jerusalem in 1953, is banned in several Arab and Central Asian countries. Russia's Supreme Court banned the group from operating on the territory of the country in 2003, describing it as a terrorist organization.

Hizb ut-Tahrir members are regularly arrested by the police across Russia, mainly in big cities in central Russia, the Volga region and Siberia.