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Tajik Opposition Leader Rejects Accusations – Points to Russia’s Dissatisfaction with President

Sharofiddin Gadoev, deputy leader of the National Alliance, which is banned in Tajikistan, denied any negotiations with Saidjafar Usmonzoda about the violent seizure of state power in Tajikistan.

Saidjafar Usmonzoda, a member of parliament and former leader of the Democratic Party of Tajikistan known for his loyalty to the government, was taken into custody on June 12. He was deprived of the right to immunity on June 14 at the request of the country’s Prosecutor General. The opinion of Saidjafar Usmonzoda himself and his relatives on the charge is unknown.

Yusuf Rahmon

The Prosecutor General of the Republic of Tajikistan, Yusuf Rahmon, accused Usmonzoda of cooperating with the leaders of the National Alliance of Tajikistan, an organization that unites opposition parties and movements abroad, which is banned in Tajikistan, as well as of colluding with opposition leaders to seize state power in Tajikistan In the presence of deputies, he said that Saidjafar Usmonzoda “in September 2021 spoke on a mobile phone with the deputy head of the extremist-terrorist organization “National Alliance of Tajikistan” Sharofiddin Gadoev and gave preliminary recommendations regarding the usurpation of state power in the Republic of Tajikistan.

“Sharofiddin Gadoev promised that in order to achieve this goal, the head of the extremist terrorist organization Islamic Renaissance Party, Muhiddin Kabiri, will provide him with financial assistance and provide more than 3,000 fighters of the Jamaat Ansarullah terrorist organization from outside the Republic of Tajikistan,” the Prosecutor General said.

“Why was the case opened only today?”

“We have never discussed with Usmonzoda the topic of the violent seizure of state power in Tajikistan. This accusation is based on lies and slander. The last time I spoke with Usmonzoda was in 2020, and even then we were not talking about the usurpation of power, but about the behavior and comments of the opposition towards government officials on social networks,” Gadoev said on June 14 in an interview with Radio Ozodi.

According to him, the accusation brought by the Prosecutor General’s Office against Usmonzoda is very serious. “If someone was planning a coup d’état, especially back in 2021, then why was the case opened only today?” the interlocutor asks.

Gadoev is convinced that the case of the former leader of the democrats is related to the visit of the Russian general to Dushanbe in the spring of this year and his meeting with Saidjafar Usmonzoda. According to him, this meeting took place after the terrorist attack in Moscow’s Crocus City Hall.

In March, Radio Ozodi reported on the arrival of a group of Russian investigators in Tajikistan to interrogate relatives of the defendants in the Crocus terrorist attack. The details of this visit were never announced.

“The general of the FSB of Russia invited Saidjafar Usmonzoda to take on the role of leader of the new government. Russia wanted to form a new government in Tajikistan. Saidjafar Usmonzoda is one of the relatives of the head of the State Committee for National Security Saimumin Yatimov. He did not pass on the information received to the relevant authorities, but later it got to the government. An order was issued from above to open a case against Saidjafar Usmonzoda and take him into custody,” Gadoev said.

According to him, he learned about this from sources close to the GKNB.

“One of the foreign countries”. Which?

“To implement his criminal plan, Saidjafar Usmonzoda recruited his supporters from different social strata inside the country and abroad, organized groups and assigned each of them to perform certain tasks. According to a predetermined plan, they wanted to destabilize the socio-political situation in a number of regions of the country as soon as possible, seizing the buildings of law enforcement agencies and military structures, they wanted to seize weapons and forcibly overthrow the state power in the country. To commit this crime, Saidjafar Usmonzoda asked a representative of one of the foreign countries for $10 million to attract influential people and organize rallies,” Khovar said in a statement. At the same time, the report does not specify from which foreign country Usmonzoda requested this amount of money.

On May 11, after Usmonzoda’s removal from the leadership of the Democratic Party, Sharofiddin Gadoev wrote on Facebook that this case is related to the deterioration of relations between Tajikistan and Russia.

“I also see a conflict between law enforcement agencies here. Conflict within the system. Between the State Committee for National Security, Shokhrukh Saidzoda and Prosecutor General Yusuf Rahmon. There is pressure on Yatimov through Usmonzoda. After all, they are relatives. However, according to the information we received, this issue is related to the cooling of relations between Tajikistan and Russia and the visit of the FSB general,” Gadoev said.

Sharofiddin Gadoev is the leader of the opposition movement “Reform and Development of Tajikistan” and deputy chairman of the National Alliance of Tajikistan, which is banned in Tajikistan. In the past, he was one of the leaders of Group 24.

“Supported the interests of the ruling party and the president”

Saidjafar Usmonzoda was one of the few members of parliament who was open with the media and participated in Radio Ozodi programs. The arrest of Usmonzoda against the backdrop of the scandalous extraordinary congress of the Democratic Party of Tajikistan, which was organized by his deputies on May 11, during which Usmonzoda himself was removed from the post of chairman of the party due to “unsatisfactory activities”, raises many questions.

On May 31, the Ministry of Justice of Tajikistan considered the scandalous congress of the Democratic Party legitimate and recognized Shahboz Abror as its leader.

However, Usmonzoda told the media on June 6 that he is still the legitimate chairman of the Democratic Party, and that he and his supporters held a meeting of the party’s political council on June 6. Then Usmonzoda said that at this meeting, Ahmadshoh Komilzoda was removed from the post of deputy chairman of the Democratic Party, and the extraordinary congress held on May 11 was declared illegal.

Shokirjon Khakimov

Doctor of Law Shokirjon Khakimov said that Saidjafar Usmonzoda supported not so much democratic values as the interests of the ruling party, the president and the state, so his arrest “raises many questions.”

“The facts reported by the Prosecutor General of Tajikistan are very serious. Therefore, we should expect even more investigations. And another question is whether in Tajikistan he will be provided with a lawyer, or he will be defended by a state lawyer who will act at the behest of the authorities,” he added.

The Democratic Party of Tajikistan, established in 1991, has experienced various intrigues, conflicts and discord throughout its history. After the signing of the peace agreement in Tajikistan, the party was headed by Mahmadruzi Iskandarov. At the end of 2006, after the arrest and imprisonment of Iskandarov, the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Tatarstan recognized Masud Sobirov as the new chairman of the Democratic Party. By that time, the DPT was divided into two wings, headed by Saidjafar Usmonzoda (Ismonov) and Rakhmatullo Valiev, deputy chairman of the party.

In 2013, the Ministry of Justice, based on the results of a month-long check and study of the documents submitted by the DPT, registered a new Charter of the party and officially recognized Saidjafar Usmonzoda as the chairman of the party. Two years later, he was elected a deputy of the lower house of parliament of Tajikistan from the Farkhor constituency. Former democrats accuse Usmonzoda of turning the DPT into a “pocket” party. This is the name of parties whose leaders are politicians loyal to the authorities.

Saidjafar Usmonzoda ran for president of Tajikistan twice – in 2013 and 2020, but, according to the CEC, did not gain the required number of votes. At that time, some experts said that the decision to participate in the presidential race was made in order to give the elections a legitimate character.

Source: Radio Liberty