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Jailed Tajik Opposition Leader's Lawyer Detained

A lawyer for jailed Tajik opposition businessman Zayd Saidov has been detained in Dushanbe.

Tajikistan's Anticorruption Agency told RFE/RL that Shukhrat Qudratov was detained on July 21 on bribe-related charges. No further details were available.

Qudratov is the second lawyer for Saidov to be detained by Tajik authorities.

In March, Saidov lawyer Fakhriddin Zokirov was arrested for his alleged debts to a local bank. He is still in pretrial detention.

Saidov, the leader of the unregistered New Tajikistan opposition party, was sentenced to 26 years in jail in December after he was found guilty of financial fraud, polygamy, and sexual relations with a minor.

Saidov and his lawyers have denied the charges and claim they are politically motivated.

Saidov was arrested in May 2013 after harshly criticizing the government while presenting his party’s political program one month earlier.

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