Last July, authorities in Tajikistan confiscated the only manuscript of a little-known novelist’s latest book. In what can only be described as an Orwellian sequence, after the manuscript was seized at a Dushanbe printing house, the author was hauled in for interrogation and asked questions like, “who ordered you to write this book?”
The author, Pulod Abuev, 69, later appealed to representatives of the feared State Committee for National Security (GKNB) to have his work returned to him. After some time, Abuev was told that a special committee at the state-run Academy of Sciences had reviewed his writings, including stories critical of Tajikistan’s widespread corruption, and decided it “offends the Tajik people.” The manuscript, thus, was not returned.
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Konstantin Parshin is a freelance writer based in Tajikistan.