Tajik opposition leader arrested in Moldova

Group 24 deputy leader Sobir Veliyev could face extradition to Tajikistan after being arrested in Moldova

Photo by: Public Domain
Photo by: Public Domain

Chisinau, Moldova

Moldovan authorities detained Sobir Veliyev, the deputy leader of Tajikistan’s outlawed Group 24 movement, on Tuesday in the country's capital Chisinau as he was attempting to travel to Istanbul, Turkey.

Veliyev, who until recently had been residing in Kyrgyzstan, was reportedly arrested at the request of the Tajik government which banned the organisation in October last year.

Many opposition activists from Group 24 have been detained since the Supreme Court of Tajikistan labeled it an "extremist" group that tried to organise mass anti-government protests.

The Tajik chief prosecutor’s office claimed that Group 24's objective was to seize power in an unconstitutional manner, a charge the group said was politically motivated.

Local media reported that Moldova is currently waiting for the necessary documentation to extradite Veliyev back to Tajikistan.

Group 24 leader Sharofiddin Gadoyev has called on the Moldovan government to provide assistance to Veliyev, citing threats to his life, AKIPress reported.

The group’s previous leader, Umarali Kuvvatov, was shot dead in Istanbul’s Fatih district in March.

Kuvvatov was wanted by the Tajik authorities for a number of crimes, including extremism, economic crimes and hostage-taking.

TRTWorld and agencies