As President Imomali Rahmon gears up for a reelection bid later this year, he’s apparently trying to take care of some unfinished business from Tajikistan’s civil war, which ended 16 years ago. Specifically, Rahmon is striving to neutralize a prominent political rival, former Prime Minister Abdumalik Abdullajanov.
Abdullajanov has lived in exile for almost two decades, mostly in the United States. But on February 5, he was taken into custody at Kyiv’s Boryspil Airport on an Interpol warrant sought by the Tajik government back in 1997. At the time of his arrest, he had just gotten off of a flight from Los Angeles. A local court has issued an order allowing for Abdullajanov’s detention for up to 40 days while Ukrainian and Tajik authorities wrangle over an extradition request.
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Konstantin Parshin is a freelance writer based in Tajikistan.