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Tajik Islamic Party To Organize Home Reconstruction

IRP Muhiddin Kabiri (second from left) meets with members of the Raqibov family.
IRP Muhiddin Kabiri (second from left) meets with members of the Raqibov family.
DUSHANBE -- The head of Tajikistan's Islamic Renaissance Party (IRP) said it will help organize the construction of a new house for a family whose home was demolished by authorities, RFERL's Tajik Service reports.

IRP head Muhiddin Kabiri told RFE/RL that the Raqibov family -- who live in the Faizabad district east of Dushanbe -- had asked the IRP some three months ago for help to restore the family's home, which was demolished in 2009.

He said the IRP was unable to get involved at that time but agreed to help the family during meetings in Faizabad on April 23-24.

Kabiri said local authorities will give land to the Raqibov family, the IRP will organize a fund-raising effort, and volunteers will build a new house in the traditional "hashar style," which means the house owner provides food for the workers during the house's construction.

Kabiri did not say how much money the IRP will provide for the house but added that his party has experience in rebuilding homes destroyed by natural disasters in different parts of the country.

Human rights activist Oynihol Bobonazarova said every political party should care about families such as the Raqibovs.

Usmon Soleh, the spokesman for the ruling National Democratic Party of Tajikistan, said his party supports such humanitarian actions. He added that the Raqibov's problem could be solved by such a generous local initiative and, thanks to the Internet, the effort could become international.

Meanwhile, Kabiri said he met with residents of the Qushteppa settlement in the Rudaki district next to Dushanbe where authorities recently demolished at least 83 houses.

Last week, Prosecutor-General Sherkhon Salimzoda said the houses in Qushteppa were built illegally and no compensation would be given to the people whose homes had been bulldozed.

In 2009, the prosecutor-general ordered Raqibov's house to be demolished because of reconstruction taking place nearby. But the family rejected the order to leave the home and staged several protests in front of the Tajik president's office, the ombudsman's office, and the UN building in Dushanbe.

The home was still demolished, however.

The Faizabad district court recently began hearing Raqibovs' case. The family -- which has five children -- has rejected summons for the father to go to court and has not taken part in any court sessions.

But the judge has ordered Raqibov's arrest and the trial is expected to resume on April 27 with him present.