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Tajikistan Asks Turkey To Extradite Opposition Figure

DUSHANBE -- Tajikistan has formally asked Turkey to extradite fugitive opposition politician and businessman Umarali Quvatov.

Tajik Interior Minister Ramazon Rahimzoda made the announcement on January 16.

Quvatov is wanted by Dushanbe on fraud charges that he says are politically motivated. His Group 24 political organization was banned in October, when the government labelled it as an extremist group.

Tajik authorities had earlier blocked hundreds of websites after Group 24 used social media to call for a mass antigovernment protest in Dushanbe.

Quvatov and three associates were detained in Turkey in December for violating visa regulations.

Rahimzoda said that eight Group 24 members have been detained in Russia and will soon be extradited to Tajikistan, and that three others were recently arrested in Tajikistan.

Quvatov, who once had close ties to President Emomali Rahmon's family, left Tajikistan in 2012.