Tajik opposition activist Nizomiddin Nasriddinov has been detained in Belarus. He is threatened with deportation to Tajikistan, the Tajik service of Radio Liberty reports, citing Enira Bronitskaya, a representative of the Belarusian human rights organization Human Constanta.
He was detained on January 8 while crossing the Belarusian border at the request of the Tajik authorities. Now Nasriddinov is in a pre-trial detention center in the city of Grodno. On February 21, the General Prosecutor’s Office of Belarus decided to extradite Nasriddinov to Tajikistan. Nizomiddin Nasriddinov appealed this decision in court.
Nasriddinov has been living in Germany since October 2015. The German authorities granted him and his family members political asylum. In 2017, at the OSCE annual meeting in Warsaw, Nasriddinov introduced himself as a member of the “Group 24” banned in Tajikistan. One of the representatives of this opposition movement stated that Nasriddinov has not been a member of the “Group 24” since 2018.
According to Enira Bronitskaya, a criminal case has been opened against Nasriddinov in Tajikistan for publicly calling for extremist activity or justifying extremism (Article 307(1) of the Criminal Code). This crime in Tajikistan is punishable by imprisonment for a term of three to five years.
“We don’t know when a criminal case was initiated, we don’t have data about it. The events that are charged with him are described as follows: from September 24, 2016 to October 23, 2016, Nasriddinov on his Facebook page distributed extremist materials of the “Group 24” banned in the country” and the Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan, and in the first half of 2017 he recorded on video his statement against the president and government of Tajikistan,” she said.
According to her, when making the decision, the prosecutor’s office did not take into account that Nasriddinov was already under international protection in Germany, and in Tajikistan he was at risk of torture and unfair prosecution. It was also not taken into account that earlier Nasriddinov’s relatives were forcibly returned to Tajikistan, where they were sentenced to long terms of imprisonment.
Nasriddinov appealed the decision of the Prosecutor General’s Office of Belarus. It is expected that at the end of March his application will be considered by the court of the Grodno region. Human rights activists express the hope that this time the court will take into account the decision of the German authorities to grant political asylum to Nasriddinov.
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