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Tajikistan Labels EU-Based Opposition Alliance As Terrorist Group

Tajikistan's Supreme Court has labeled the National Alliance of Tajikistan (PMT) -- a group uniting several opposition movements and parties based in the European Union -- as a terrorist and extremist organization.

One of the PMT's leaders, Sharofiddin Gadoev, told RFE/RL on October 14 that the court's ruling, made public over the weekend, was "illegal."

"It has become a bad tradition of the Tajik government to label any group or individuals who challenge it as terrorist," Gadoev said, adding that the PMT had never called on anyone to perform, or planned any acts, that were extremist or terrorist in nature.

The PMT was established in Warsaw in September 2018 at the gathering of Tajik opposition activists living in various countries of the European Union.

Tajik authorities have been criticized for cracking down on dissent for years.

In 2014, the opposition movement Group 24 was labeled as terrorist and extremist and banned. In March 2015, the movement's founder Umarali Quvatov was assassinated in Istanbul, Turkey.

Another opposition group, the Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan (IRPT), long an influential party with representatives in the government and parliament of Tajikistan, was labeled a terrorist group and banned in 2015.

Dozens of IRPT officials and supporters have been prosecuted and many of them imprisoned, drawing criticism from human rights groups.

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

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