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Wife Says Suspected Tajik Terrorist's Televised Confession Coerced

Imomali Idibegov's statement was broadcast on television.
Imomali Idibegov's statement was broadcast on television.

DUSHANBE -- The wife of a suspected terrorist in Tajikistan, whose confession was shown on television nationwide, says her husband's admission of guilt was coerced by investigators.

Imomali Idibegov's televised statement, where he admitted to having links with terrorists, was broadcast on April 14.

During the program where the statement was made, Idibegov's wife, Dilbar Ghanieva, confirms that her husband was detained on April 6 on terrorism charges.

But on April 15, Ghanieva told RFE/RL that police had forced them to confess to something her 38-year-old spouse had not done.

"The police interrogated us and insulted us with very vulgar words for a week. In the end, my husband could not stand it and said: 'Let my wife go, I will confess to anything you want,'" she told RFE/RL.

"I know for sure that my husband is not a terrorist. They also forced say on television that my husband is a terrorist," Ghanieva said.

Though there was no immediate evidence to back up Ghanieva's claims, domestic and international human rights groups have said that police in Tajikistan often use illegal methods to coerce people suspected in different crimes, including terrorism, as well as individuals persecuted for their political views or rights activities to confess.

The Interior Ministry has said Idibegov has expressed support for the Islamic State and other terrorist groups via the Internet and distributed materials propagating terrorism while working in Russia as a migrant worker in 2015-2017.

According to the ministry, Idibegov is also wanted in Russia, where he, along with two Uzbek nationals, is suspected of planning a series of terrorist attacks and financially supporting the Islamic State terrorist group.

In all, 29 Tajik citizens are wanted in Russia on terrorism-related charges.

Authorities in Tajikistan have said that about 2,000 citizens of the country joined the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, of whom more than 500 were killed.

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

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