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UN Expresses Concern Over Tajikistan's Banning Of Political Party

The UN human rights office has expressed concern over the risk of increasing human rights violations in Tajikistan following Dushanbe’s recent decision to ban the Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan (IRPT).

In a statement issued on October 2, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights pointed to the arrest and detention of more than a dozen IRPT members since early September.

On September 29, the Tajik Supreme Court ruled that the IRPT was an "extremist and terrorist organization" and banned it.

The decision followed a long-running campaign by the government against the IRPT.

Thirteen leading members of the IRPT were arrested earlier in September on suspicion of leading a deadly mutiny by a serving deputy defense minister.

The deputy minister, Abduhalim Nazarzoda, was killed in a special-forces operation on September 16 after officials blamed him for attacks on a police station and weapons depot on September 4.

The IRPT was the only Islamic political party legally registered in Central Asia and was party to the 1997 inter-Tajik peace agreement.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AP, and AFP