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Tajikistan Calls On Russia To Extradite Alleged Members Of Banned Group

DUSHANBE -- Tajikistan's Interior Ministry says it has filed extradition requests for seven alleged members of a banned Tajik political opposition group who were arrested in Russia in recent months.

The press service of Tajikistan's Interior Ministry told RFE/RL on August 17 that it expects the extradition request to be honored by Russia because of other similar cases recently, and because the seven were arrested at the request of Tajikistan's government.

Including the seven men, a total of 10 suspected members of Group 24 have been arrested in Russia in recent months.

Three already have been extradited to Tajikistan and sentenced to lengthy prison terms after a Tajik court found them guilty of taking part in the banned group's activities.

Group 24 was banned in October after being labelled an extremist group.

It was founded by fugitive tycoon Umarali Quvatov, who was shot dead in Turkey in March.

Opponents of President Emomali Rahmon who live abroad say they think Quvatov's killing was orchestrated by Tajik authorities.

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

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