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Moldovan Court Extends Detention For Tajik Activist

A Moldovan appeals court extended the pretrial detention of Tajik opposition activist Sobir Valiev, who is fighting extradition to Tajikistan, by 11 days on August 20.

Valiev's lawyer, Elena Mazur, told RFE/RL she would complain at the European Court for Human Rights in Strasbourg, France, because she believes Valiev is being illegally detained.

Human Rights Watch has urged Moldova not to extradite Valiev because he could be face abuse and/or torture.

Moldova says it has not yet received an extradition request from the Tajiks.

Hugh Williamson, Europe and Central Asia director at Human Rights Watch, told RFE/RL on August 18 that "there's a risk that Mr. Valiev would face torture or ill-treatment if he was returned to Tajikistan" and that Moldova has a " adhere to its international human rights commitments and not return him to Tajikistan."

He added that Tajik authorities are "actively hunting down political opposition figures."

Valiev, 27, is deputy head of the Congress of Constructive Forces of Tajikistan, a peaceful opposition group.

He was detained by Moldovan officials on August 11 at the airport in Chisinau.

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