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Life Sentences Demanded For Leaders Of Banned Tajik Opposition Party

Prosecutors in Tajikistan are demanding life prison sentences for four leaders of the banned Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan (IRPT) for their alleged roles in what authorities say was a coup attempt.

Prosecutors at the closed-door hearing in the Tajik Supreme Court in Dushanbe on May 11 said that the guilt of the four had been proven.

The four were named as Saidumar Husaini, Mahmadali Hait, Kiemiddin Avazov, and Abdukahhor Davlat.

Prosecutors are demanding prison terms ranging from eight to 23 years for the remaining nine members of the IRPT on trial.

The accused included one woman, Zarafo Rahmoni, who worked as a legal adviser to the party’s leadership.

Prosecutors on May 11 demanded she be sent to jail for eight years.

The 13 were charged with conspiring with former Defense Minister Abduhalim Nazarzoda in a supposed armed bid to seize power in early September.

Authorities said Nazarzoda led attacks on a police station and an arsenal that killed at least 26 people. Nazarzoda was reportedly killed in an operation by government forces.

Authorities blamed the IRPT for organizing the mutiny, while the Supreme Court banned the party, designating it an "extremist and terrorist organization."

Party leader Muhiddin Kabiri, who now lives in exile, rejected the accusations.

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