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Dushanbe Protests Over Ex-Prime Minister's Release In Ukraine

Abdumalik Abdullojonov
DUSHANBE -- Some 100 young men and women rallied in front of the U.S. Embassy in Dushanbe on April 5, protesting the release of former Prime Minister Abdumalik Abdullojonov from custody in Ukraine.

A similar protest was held simultaneously by some 60 young demonstrators in front of the UN office in Dushanbe.

Ukrainian authorities refused Abdullojonov's extradition and released him on April 4, saying he has refugee status in the United States.

He was detained in Ukraine in February on his arrival from the United States.

Abdullojonov challenged longtime Tajik President Emomali Rahmon in the 1994 presidential election.

Tajik authorities accuse him of involvement in a 1996 assassination attempt on Rahmon and backing a 1998 militant attack in Sughd Province.

Abdullojonov has denied the charges, saying they are politically motivated.