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Tajik Playwright Says Play Banned Because Of Political Parallels

Tajik writer Barzu Abdurazzaqov in an undated picture
Tajik writer Barzu Abdurazzaqov in an undated picture
Tajik authorities have banned a play on the eve of the spring festival Norouz, RFE/RL's Tajik service reports.

The play, "Madness '93," was written by Tajik author Barzu Abdurazzoqov and was inspired by the writings of French politician Jean-Paul Marat during the French Revolution before his murder in 1793.

Abdurazzoqov told RFE/RL that the play premiered at the Mayakovsky Theater in Dushanbe on March 17 and was attended by ambassadors from Britain, Russia, and Germany.

Abdurazzoqov said the Ministry of Culture did not give any reasons for its decision to ban the play, but he thinks it is likely that the Tajik authorities saw parallels between the themes of the play and Tajikistan's civil war of the mid-1990s.

Abdurazzoqov also said that it is not the first time his work has been banned, and that he might consider leaving the country.

Officials at the Ministry of Culture told RFE/RL that the play was banned only during the celebration of Norouz between March 21 and 23, and that performances will resume after that.