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Tajik Activist Detained in Slovakia Faces Extradition to His Homeland – Relatives

Amriddin Kholmurodov, a Tajik citizen detained in Slovakia, faces extradition to his homeland, where she could be subjected to torture and ill-treatment, human rights activists say. Relatives claim that the authorities want to punish Kholmurodov for his criticism on social networks.

37-year-old Amriddin Kholmurodov was detained in February 2022 while crossing the Ukrainian-Slovak border and is still in the pre-trial detention center in Kosice, the second largest city in Slovakia.

According to Kholmurodov’s relatives, who preferred to remain anonymous, the Ismoili Somoni district court in Dushanbe ordered his arrest five years ago. A criminal case was initiated against Kholmurodov under three articles of the Criminal Code of Tajikistan – 189 (Inciting social, racial, national, regional, religious (confessional) hatred or discord), 307 (Public calls for a violent change in the constitutional order of the Republic of Tajikistan) and Art. 187 (Participation in a criminal community or criminal organization), his relatives reported. He faces over 10 years in prison.

The Tajik authorities do not comment on the accusations, Kholmurodov’s relatives claim that they want to punish him for sharply criticizing the Tajik authorities on social networks.

Abdusattor Boboev, head of the Committee for the Protection of Political Hostages and Prisoners in Tajikistan, told Radio Ozodi on August 6 that last week a group of Tajik activists organized a rally in defense of Amriddin Kholmurodov outside the EU office in Vilnius.

“EU representatives received us, four participants of the action. We presented the diplomats with a letter to the leadership of Slovakia and the EU. EU diplomats asked several questions, including why Kholmurodov was put on the wanted list and why he is being prosecuted in his homeland. We explained that the Tajik authorities are persecuting Kholmurodov for his critical articles on social networks. In our letter, we called on the President of Slovakia and the EU leadership to release the activist and not extradite him to Tajikistan, where Kholmurodov could be subjected to torture and ill-treatment,” said Abdusattor Boboev.

Amriddin Kholmurodov has lived in Ukraine in recent years, he has a residence permit in this country. A few days after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, he tried to get into Slovakia, where he was detained by border guards.

It is reported that Amriddin Kholmurodova on the Odnoklassniki social network constantly criticized the Tajik authorities under the pseudonym “Muhammadjon Umarov”.

Dozens of supporters of the Tajik opposition and social media activists living in European countries have been put on the international wanted list by the Tajik authorities on charges of “terrorism” and “extremism”.

Two weeks ago, the Belarusian authorities extradited opposition activist Nizomiddin Nasriddinov to Tajikistan. Oi is currently being held in the pre-trial detention center of the State Committee for National Security (GKNB) of Tajikistan. At home, a criminal case has been initiated against Nasriddinov for publicly calling for extremist activity or justifying extremism (Article 307 (1) of the Criminal Code). For this, the Criminal Code of Tajikistan provides for punishment in the form of imprisonment for a term of three to five years.

Source: Ozodi