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Tajikistan’s Fallen Hero: Mukhiddin Kurbonasenov


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The Ismaili Pamiris of Tajikistan are a tiny minority group in Central Asia, whose ancient homeland lies in the remote and forbidding mountains that straddle the borders of Afghanistan, China, and Russia. Despite their small numbers, they have long been targeted for persecution by the authoritarian government of Tajikistan. In recent years, this has escalated into a full-blown campaign of ethnic cleansing, with President Imomali Rahmon seeking to eradicate this community and replace them with ethnic Tajiks. The Pamiris reside in the Gorno-Badakhshan region (GBAO), which became a warzone in May 2022. Government security forces had swept through Vanj, indiscriminately killing, torturing, and jailing Pamiris whom they accused of committing “terrorist acts”. Mukhiddin Kurbonasenov was one of the many peaceful Pamiri activists who fell victim to this brutal onslaught.

Mukhiddin was from the village of Vamar in Rushan, Tajikistan. A single man, he engaged in seasonal and temporary work, mostly in the field of construction.

According to reports, Mukhiddin and his friend, Asliddin Khursandov, sought refuge in the mountains to evade the gunfire and brutality of Rahmon regime’s security officers in town. While hiding there, helicopter snipers found them and he was shot to death.

Mukhiddin was reported to have died at the age of 35.

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