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Tajikistan: Opposition Supporters Freed; UTO May Join Government

Dushanbe, 11 February 1998 (RFE/RL) - Tajikistan's government today announced that the last 109 prisoners jailed as supporters of the opposition have been freed. The government says the prisoners were freed under an amnesty approved by Parliament last August. Presidential spokesman Mizrab Kabirov said "we now do not have anybody in detention who took part in the events from 1992 to 1997," the period of Tajikistan's civil war.

More than 200 supporters of the mostly Islamic opposition have been freed since last October.

Also today, Tajikistan's President Imomali Rakhmonov held talks in Dushanbe with Said Nuri, the leader of the Joint Tajik Opposition and Chairman of the National Reconciliation Commission.

Talks were expected to focus on government reform, and implementation of last year's June peace accords.

Last week, a United Tajik Opposition (UTO) spokesman said Rakhmonov has approved the nomination of the first opposition members for government posts. Under the peace accords, the UTO is to get 30 percent of posts in a new coalition government.

It is also reported that the first opposition candidates for government posts will take office within days. Under last year's peace accords, the United Tajik Opposition is to get 30 percent of posts in a new coalition government.