Early on March 15, a 58-year-old man put on his tracksuit and left home in Qurghonteppa, a 90-minute drive south of Dushanbe, Tajikistan’s capital. Morning exercise was a regular part of his routine, says Amnesty International. But on this morning the man, a prominent critic of President Imomali Rakhmon, did not return.
Friends and political allies fear Salimboy Shamsiddinov was kidnapped for his political views, including his critique of Tajik-Uzbek relations. Shamsiddinov, head of the Society of Uzbeks of Khatlon Province, is no stranger to tough talk, often expressing himself freely on politics and interethnic relations in a country where questioning the official line is discouraged, especially in an election year.
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