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Egypt Releases Some Tajik Students, Others Still Detained

DUSHANBE -- The Tajik Foreign Ministry says that 10 of the 15 Tajik students detained in Egypt last week have been released, RFE/RL reports.

On May 27, police in Cairo detained some 150 students from former Soviet countries who are studying at Al-Azhar University. They gave no explanation for the detentions.

Said Shafiev, an official at the Tajik Embassy in Egypt, told RFE/RL that talks are ongoing on the release of the other five Tajik students. He said the released students will not be deported to Tajikistan.

One student, Halim Mohammad, told RFE/RL that it is unclear why he and his fellow students were detained. He said there was no interrogation, questioning, or charges made during their three days in detention.

Another Tajik student, Safar Tohiri, who returned to Tajikistan before the arrests were made, says it is very likely that the detentions were the result of visa problems, adding that some Russian and Kazakh students at Al-Azhar University had entered Egypt with tourist visas which they later changed to student visas.