Berlin (24/11 – 50)
The Supreme Court of the Republic of Tajikistan sentenced five Pamiri leaders from the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region (GBAO) to life imprisonment. They are Tolib Ayombekov, Nazhmiddin Sherchonov, Imumnazar Shoishirinov, Munavvar Shanbiev and Niyozsho Gulobov.
The press service of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Tajikistan announced their detention in June of this year, presenting everyone as “leaders of an organized criminal group in the city of Khorog” – the administrative center of GBAO.
Ministry of Internal Affairs of Tajikistan announced the detention of five Pamiris in June of this year, presenting them as “leaders of an organized criminal group in the city of Khorog”. Among those convicted are Tolib Ayombekov, Nazhmiddin Sherchonov, Imumnazar Shoishirinov, Munavvar Shanbiev and Niyozsho Gulobov.
According to information from the law enforcement agency, Shanbiev and Ayombekov were among those with whom the country’s authorities signed separate agreements in October 2018, obliging them to surrender their weapons, not organize “gatherings” and not engage in illegal activities. According to media reports, all five convicts are informal leaders of GBAO.
It is reported that by the same court decision several more residents of GBAO were sentenced to long terms of imprisonment. Ayombekov’s former driver Khamza Murodov and the latter’s siblings, Okil and Anoyatsho Ayombekov, were sentenced to 30 years in prison. Ayombekov’s nephew named Mamadomon received 10 years in prison.
Okil Ayombekov and Khamza Murodov were found guilty in 2013 of the murder of special services general Abdullo Nazarov and sentenced to 17 and 16 years in a maximum security colony, respectively. Currently, both have been in prison for 11 years. And now their prison terms have been increased.
The confrontation between the residents of GBAO, who are Pamiris, and the official authorities of Tajikistan has been ongoing since 2012. In 2018, Tajik President Emomali Rahmon authorized the use of the regular army to suppress protests in the autonomy. Since then, acts of civil disobedience have periodically occurred in Gorno-Badakhshan, which the security forces have harshly suppressed.
The latest clash between GBAO residents and security forces occurred after rallies in Khorog on May 14 and 16. On May 18, in the Rushan district of the region, where, according to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, about 200 people blocked the Dushanbe-Khorog highway to prevent the arrival of a large convoy of security forces to the administrative center of Gorno-Badakhshan. After this, the anti-terrorist operation began. As a result, according to various sources, more than 40 local residents died. Dozens of people were detained, many of them were convicted.