One afternoon in late August, members of Tajikistan’s last real opposition party turned up at the Sheraton Dushanbe Hotel for a news conference, intending to discuss the latest wave of government intimidation they were facing.
Security guards prevented the Islamic Renaissance Party (IRPT) representatives from getting past the main gate. They claimed that because of a power outage the hotel could not host a big event, even though lights could be seen blazing from outside the building. The Sheraton’s guests at the time included members of a visiting delegation headed by Gen. Lloyd Austin, commander of US Central Command, who was in Tajikistan to meet with President Emomali Rahmon and others.
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