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Amnesty Labels Arrested Tajik Student As 'Prisoner Of Conscience'

Amnesty International has called for urgent action to free a Tajik man arrested on charges of high treason and spying.

In a statement issued on June 25, Amnesty called Aleksandr Sodikov a "prisoner of conscience" and urged Tajik authorities to immediately and unconditionally release him.

Sodikov, 31, a Tajik national residing in Canada, was detained in Tajikistan's southern city of Khorugh on June 16, shortly after speaking with civil society activists, including Alim Sherzamonov.

Sherzamonov was one of the leaders of deadly May protests against police actions that targeted suspected criminals in Khorugh.

Sodikov said he had been touring Central Asia as part of his doctoral research at the University of Toronto and the University of Exeter in Britain.

Last week, Amnesty, Freedom House, and Human Rights Watch issued statements expressing concern over Sodikov's case.

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