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Tajikistan: Authorities Go After Relatives of Opposition

IRPT leader Muhiddin Kabiri speaks in early July at the first-ever congress of Tajik opposition groups outside the country, in the German city of Dortmund. While the attendees pondered ways to bring about change at home, authorities in Tajikistan targeted their relatives in attempts to keep a lid on opposition activity abroad. (Photo: Temur Varki)

A crackdown in Tajikistan that began in 2015 has forced large swaths of the opposition Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan membership into self-imposed exile, with many resettling in Poland and Germany.
 
In early July, IRPT members – along with representative from other Tajik organizations critical of the government, including Group-24, Vatandor and the Congress of Constructive Forces of Tajikistan – held their first-ever congress outside the country, in the German city of Dortmund. While the attendees pondered ways to bring about change at home, authorities in Dushanbe watched from afar and took notes.
 
IRPT leader Muhiddin Kabiri told EurasiaNet.org that threats to relatives back in Tajikistan began before the congress had even opened.
 
“They summoned family members [for questioning] and put pressure on them through local authorities. Groups of female and youth [pro-government] activists tried to intimidate relatives into heaping abuse on their family overseas, and demanded that they help put a stop to their political activities,” he said.
 

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Tajikistan: Authorities Go After Relatives of Opposition

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