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Islamic Party Urges Clarification Over 'Detention' Of Activist

DUSHANBE -- The opposition Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan (IRP) has asked officials from the country's State Committee for National Security (SCNS) for clarification after the apparent detention of one of its members in the capital, Dushanbe, RFE/RL's Tajik Service reports.

Muhammadali Hait, the deputy head of the IRP, said he met on September 14 with officials from the Dushanbe branch of the SCNS and asked them the reasons for the detention of party activist Husnuddin Davlatov.

According to the IRP, the arrest of Davlatov would be illegal because he is a member of the local council in the country's eastern Rasht district and has immunity.

But Muhammad Melikov, the deputy head of Dushanbe branch of the SCNS, the successor agency to the KGB, in an interview with RFE/RL, denied that Davlatov had been arrested.

Davlatov, who is one of two IPR members on Rasht's local council, went missing in Dushanbe on September 10.

His relatives said that authorities on September 13 let him call them and in his short conversation he said that he was being accused of having contacts with the banned Salafiya group. His relatives reject this accusation.

Olim Odilov, a former opposition commander in Rasht district, told RFE/RL that Davlatov's brother, Alovuddin, is also a former opposition commander and authorities want to provoke him into an open confrontation that would give them reason to act against all former opposition fighters in Rasht.

Dushanbe lawyer Junaidullo Fozilov told RFE/RL that according to the law, a member of a council can only be put under arrest if he is detained at the scene of the crime and there are witnesses to the alleged crime.

If his detention is confirmed, Davlatov would be the third IRP member to be detained this year. In April, the head of the party in Vose district was accused of human trafficking but a court cleared him of the charge.

In Khatlon Province, a party activist who was a member of the local electoral commission, was charged with voting manipulation.