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Tajik Opposition Activist Released From Custody In Belarus

Shabnam Hudoidodova
Shabnam Hudoidodova

MINSK -- An activist from Tajikistan's opposition Group 24, Shabnam Hudoidodova, has been released from custody in Belarus after being held for more than eight months.

The Minsk-based Vyasna (Spring) human rights center told RFE/RL that Hudoidodova was released on February 22 after she was granted the legal status of a refugee.

Belarusian authorities detained Hudoidodova on June 15, 2015, when she entered Belarus from Russia after they discovered that Tajikistan had filed an international warrant for her arrest through Interpol.

In July, European Union officials urged Belarus not to extradite Hudoidodova to Tajikistan.

The EU also called on Dushanbe to drop the case against the 29-year-old activist and respect the rights of Tajik citizens to have alternative political views.

Group 24 was officially banned in Tajikistan in October 2014 after the authorities labeled it as an extremist organization.

The group's founder, fugitive tycoon Umarali Quvatov, was shot dead in Turkey on March 5, 2015.

Opponents of Tajikistan's President Emomali Rahmon who live abroad have alleged that Quvatov's killing was orchestrated by authorities in Dushanbe.

RFE/RL has been declared an "undesirable organization" by the Russian government.

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