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(Berlin, October 7, 2019) – An independent journalist and political opposition activist risks torture or other ill-treatment if he is forcibly returned from Belarus to Tajikistan, a group of eleven human rights groups said today. Belarusian authorities should not extradite or deport the activist, Farhod Odinaev, or otherwise facilitate his forced return to Tajikistan.

Political Prisoner Says Guards Beat Him, Refused Him Medicine

The Tajik government should immediately and unconditionally release a seriously ill political activist who says he has been tortured, nine human rights groups said today. The prisoner, Mahmadali Hayit, is deputy head of the Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan (IRPT), the country’s largest opposition party, which was banned by the government in late 2015.

Authorities in Tajikistan routinely retaliate against family members of peaceful abroad-based activists, the Association for Human Rights in Central Asia and the Norwegian Helsinki Committee said in a statement today. Since late November and onwards, authorities have harassed, threatened and interrogated family members of Fatkhuddin Saidmukhidinov, a Tajik opposition activist based in Europe, the groups said.

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