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Islamic Opposition Criticizes Tajik Government

Hikmatullo Saifullozoda (right) in 2008

Tajikistan's main opposition party accused the government today of violating civil rights and neglecting its people.

The Islamic Revival Party of Tajikistan, the only officially registered Islamic party in Central Asia, said in a statement that corrupt, authoritarian rule has eroded democracy and "national unity."

The party issued its statement after unknown assailants attacked Hikmatullo Saifullozoda, editor of its newspaper, 'Najot," and outspoken government critic, on Monday.

The ruling People's Democratic Party denied the accusations.

It said Tajikistan, ruled since 1992 by President Imomali Rakhmon, had free media and eight functioning political parties.

The Islamic Revival Party formed the core of the alliance that fought government troops in a civil war from 1992 to 1997.

It now occupies the only two opposition-held seats in parliament.

compiled from agency reports