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Tajik Scholar, Government Critic Leaves Country


Hafiz Boboyorov

A Tajik scholar known for his public criticism of the government has left the country and says he has no immediate plans to return.

Hafiz Boboyorov told RFE/RL in an e-mail on October 2 that he is currently in Germany and does not plan to return to Tajikistan at the moment.

He did not say why he decided to leave his homeland.

In 2015, Boboyorov openly criticized the move by Tajik authorities to grant President Emomali Rahmon the title "Leader of the Nation and the Founder of Tajikistan's National Unity."

Following that criticism, Boboyorov was fired from his position as head of the Center of Prognosis at Tajikistan’s National Academy.

Boboyorov has also criticized the now-banned Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikstan (IRPT), saying that religion and politics should be separate. The influential opposition party was deemed extremist and outlawed by the government in 2015.

State propaganda in the Central Asian nation portrays Rahmon, the president since 1994, as a savior who brought peace to Tajikistan following a five-year civil war in the 1990s. Critics accuse his government of systematic rights abuses

Boboyorov, 43, graduated in 1997 from the Tajik State University’s Philology Department in Dushanbe. From 2006 to 2011, he was a student in the philosophy department at the University of Bonn in Germany, where he earned a doctorate degree.

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