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Tajikistan: Opposition Beds Down and Plots in Polish Exile

Muhiddin Kabiri (right), the leader of the Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan (IRPT), and Muhamadjon Kabirov, a member of the party, both found refuge in the European Union. With groups of IRPT members in Berlin, Vienna and Warsaw, and two offices in the Middle East, the party is gradually attempting to build itself up from the ashes. (Photo courtesy of Muhamadjon Kabirov)

The smell of plov and freshly prepared kulcha bread wafts improbably throughout the stairwell of an anonymous post-Soviet apartment building east of Warsaw.
 
Places like Minsk Mazowiecki, a mid-sized town some 40 kilometers outside the Polish capital, have in the past couple of years become home to many families from Tajikistan – like that of Muhamadjon Kabirov. Forced to leave their native land because of mounting political repression, thousands of families are piecing together new lives abroad.
 
While Poles can be wary of outsiders, Kabirov’s family members say they have experienced no hostility. Quite the contrary, their life in Minsk Mazowiecki is peaceful and humdrum, which is more than they could expect back home.
 

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Agnieszka Pikulicka-Wilczewska is a freelance journalist covering the post-Soviet space.

Tajikistan: Opposition Beds Down and Plots in Polish Exile

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