Tajikistan: Exiled Opposition Gets Reprieve, Pressure Strong at Home
The exiled opposition to President Emomali Rahmon’s rule in Tajikistan has enjoyed a rare reprieve with the news that Belarusian authorities have refused to extradite activist Shabnam Khudoydodova back to her home country.
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty’s Tajik service, Radio Ozodi, reported that Khudoydodova was released from custody on February 22.
Authorities in Tajikistan has successfully obliterated most political opposition to the government inside the country, but have latterly been attempting to silence critics based abroad.
Khudoydodova was living in St. Petersburg, in Russia, when she learned in July that her government might seek her extradition in reprisal for her online posts calling for democratic reforms. She fled into Belarus on the way to Poland, hoping to obtain asylum there. Instead, she was turned back by Polish border guards and was detained on July 15 by Belarusian police, who were acting on an international request for arrest filed by Tajikistan.
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