The special services of Tajikistan detained the mother and brother of journalist Anora Sarkorova and took them away in an unknown direction. About this she wrote on facebook.
According to the journalist, the security forces took away her mother and brother on the morning of June 27. Previously, relatives of Sarkorova in the Pamirs were also summoned for questioning by the State Committee for National Security. The journalist believes that in this way “the authorities want everyone to shut up and stop talking about the mass violations of human rights taking place in the country.”
“This is justice in Tajik style. Using the most effective method – torture, blackmail with the lives of relatives and friends. This is how confessions are obtained,” she wrote.
Journalist Anora Sarkorova and her husband Rustam Joni are from Gorno-Badakhshan and have been openly covering the latest protests in the region. In particular, Sarkorova has repeatedly criticized the actions of the security forces for punitive measures against the population of GBAO.
This is not the first case of pressure on bloggers and journalists in Tajikistan due to coverage of the May protests in Gorno-Badakhshan.
On May 20, blogger Khushruz Dzhumaev, known as Khushom Gulyam, was detained in Dushanbe. He wrote about the history, languages and culture of the Pamirs. By data“Mediazones”, the blogger is the grandson of the former head of the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region (GBAO) Shodavlat Shodavlatov. After the November protests, Dzhum’aev reportedly moved from Dushanbe to GBAO and began helping the “Commission 44” set up by civil activists. No formal charges were brought against him.
June 17 Dushanbe police delayed Mamadsulton Mavlonazarov, a former employee of the state security agencies, 72, who criticized the authorities and the leadership of the State Committee for National Security on Facebook. According to relatives, he was not allowed to put on shoes, was forcibly put into a car and taken away in an unknown direction.
In addition, Tajik journalist Ramziya Mirzobekova told about the harassment campaign against her in social networks because of her acquaintance with Ulfathonim Mamadshoeva, who was arrested on charges of “organizing and leading” protests in GBAO. In social networks, Mirzobekova was accused of “destabilizing the situation” in Gorno-Badakhshan, supporting “criminals” and “terrorists” and nationalist views.
Days after protests began in GBAO on May 16, officers from the State Committee for National Security and the Prosecutor General’s Office detained activist Ulfathonim Mamadshoeva. Sources of the Tajik service of Radio Liberty passed on that she was charged under an article on public calls for a violent change in the constitutional order.
Mamadshoeva called these accusations are “completely absurd.” She said that she was in the Pamirs a week before the protests began and did not expect that rallies would begin there. On May 25, the Tajik state channel showed the film “Shikasti Fitna” with Mamadshoeva’s “confessions” of organizing protests in GBAO and financing from abroad.
The situation in GBAO escalated after May 14, when several hundred residents of Khorog protested and demanded the resignation of the head of the region Alisher Mirzonabot and the mayor of Khorog Rizo Nazarzoda, the removal of all checkpoints in Khorog and an end to the persecution of Badakhshan residents. After the authorities refused to consider their demands on May 16, a large group of local youth headed towards the regional administration. The security forces used rubber bullets and tear gas against them. As a result, one person died, several people were injured, including three security officials.
On May 18, the Tajik authorities announced the start of an “anti-terrorist operation” in GBAO. According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, clashes took place between government troops and local residents in the Rushan region of the country, who blocked the road to Khorog “in order to destabilize the socio-political situation.”
Tajik service of Radio Liberty with reference to local residents reports that on May 19, 21 bodies of victims of the “counter-terrorist operation” were handed over to relatives. Later a source in the police department confirmed publishing this information. A day earlier, the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Tajikistan reported 8 dead and 11 wounded during the “operation” in the Rushan region. According to official figures, as of May 19, the security forces detained 114 people.