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Tajik Customs Service Press Secretary Attacked

DUSHANBE -- Tajikistan's Customs Service press secretary Abdurahim Umarov is being treated in a hospital after being severely beating.

Umarov told RFE/RL that four unknown men attacked him late on February 27 near a market place in the Tajik capital, Dushanbe.

Umarov, who has been working on a documentary about gasoline smuggling from neighboring Kyrgyzstan, said he received threats several months ago.

Before accepting his job last year as the Customs Service's press secretary, Umarov worked for a number of domestic and international media outlets, including RFE/RL.

The deputy chief of Tajikistan's Customs Service, Nemat Rahmatov, told RFE/RL that a request to investigate the attack against Umarov has been sent to the Interior Ministry.

RFE/RL has been declared an "undesirable organization" by the Russian government.

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