Tajikistan is not a place that sees a lot of protests these days. So it is a cause for wonder when demonstrators spontaneously gather outside the US Embassy and United Nations offices in Dushanbe to air complaints that mirror authorities’ stated views – without facing any serious challenge from law enforcement authorities.
Such was the case on April 5-6, when protestors assembled to criticize a Ukrainian court decision not to extradite former Prime Minister Abdumalik Abdullajanov, who is wanted in Dushanbe for attempting to overthrow President Imomali Rakhmon back in the mid-1990s. Abdullajanov – who has refugee status in the United States – was released from a Ukrainian jail on April 4. The UN urged Kyiv not to send him to Tajikistan, reasoning that it was unlikely he would receive a fair trial at home.
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Konstantin Parshin is a freelance writer based in Tajikistan.