Tajikistan Must Shed Light on Disappearance of Researcher


In response to the ongoing detention of Tajikistani academic researcher Alexander Sodiqov by the State Committee for National Security (GKNB) on charges of espionage, Freedom House issued the following statement:

"The government of Tajikistan needs to release information to Sodiqov's family and his colleagues about where he is being held and in what conditions," said David Kramer, the president of Freedom House. "Sodiqov should be given access to a lawyer of his own choosing immediately. Right now this detention is looking more like a disappearance."

According to an official statement by the government of Tajikistan, Sodiqov was detained at 12:15 p.m. local time on June 16  in the eastern city of Khorog by the GKNB, where he was conducting academic research for a University of Exeter research project. The government's statement accused Sodiqov of espionage on behalf of an unidentified foreign government. Since his detention, Sodiqov's family has received only one phone call from him, at 9 p.m. local time on June 16. Sodiqov was unable to say at that time where he was being held or by whom. Despite reports in local media that Sodiqov was released on the afternoon of June 17, neither his family nor his colleagues have seen him, and his whereabouts remain unknown.

Tajikistan is rated Not Free in Freedom in the World 2014 and Freedom of the Press 2014.

To learn more, visit:
Tajik Courts Should Reject Claims Against ‘Asia Plus’
Freedom in the World 2013: Tajikistan
Freedom of the Press 2013: Tajikistan
Blog: Freedom at Issue

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