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Tajikistan: Detained Journalist Leaves Russia

Moscow, 11 July 2001 (RFE/RL) -- Tajik opposition journalist Dodojon Atoulloh boarded a plane bound for Germany this afternoon after spending six days in detainment in Moscow. Atoulloh was taken into custody on 5 July after Russian customs officials found his name on an international warrant issued by the Tajik government. Atoulloh was wanted in Tajikistan for fomenting ethnic, religious and national hatred and for insulting the honor of the Tajik president.

Russia's prosecutor-general today released Atoulloh saying there was no grounds for holding him or extraditing him to Tajikistan. Today's announcement comes after international human rights and press freedom groups as well as German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer appealed to the Russian government for Atoulloh's release.

Atoulloh said he feared for his life if he was returned to Tajikistan. He fled the country in 1993, continuing to publish his newspaper "Charogi Ruz" from Moscow.