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Tajikistan: Islamic Leader Arrested, Not Kidnapped

Dushanbe, 4 June 2003 (RFE/RL) -- The authorities in Tajikistan say they have arrested a leading member of the country's main Islamic opposition party. Prosecutor Sharif Kurbanov told the ITAR-TASS news agency that Shamsuddin Shamsuddinov, a member of the Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan, was arrested by security services in the north of the country.

Kurbanov did not say why Shamsuddinov was arrested, but said charges would be brought soon on what he called "very serious crimes."

Shamsuddinov's party said yesterday that he had been taken from his home last week in what they thought was a kidnapping.

The Islamic Renaissance Party is the only legally registered Islamic party in Central Asia, a result of the 1997 Tajik peace accord that ended the five-year civil war there.