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Human Rights Watch: Either Free Or Charge Detained Tajik Scholar

Human Rights Watch (HRW) has expressed concerns over the situation around a Tajik scholar from Canada, who was detained by Tajik authorities on spying charges in the city of Khorugh this week.

In a June 19 statement, HRW's Europe and Central Asia Director, Hugh Williamson, said the Tajik government should release Aleksandr Sodikov or charge him and provide him access to a lawyer.

The HRW statement comes a day after Sodikov had been shown on local television in Khorugh.

In a 10-minute-long video, which appears to have been heavily edited, Sodikov speaks about his research work and a meeting with a local opposition activist in Khorugh.

Sodikov, 31, is a Tajik national with permanent residency in Canada.

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

Based on the HRW statement