KHOROG, March 17, Asia-Plus  -- A group of residents of Gorno Badakhshan have staged a protest in Khorog to draw attention of local authorities to arbitrary behavior of from officers from the law enforcement agencies as well as to protest handover of six GBAO’s villages to jurisdiction of the Tavildara district. 

A group of some 300 demonstrators gathered near the building of the GBAO regional government in Khorog today morning, at around 10:00 a.m., to draw attention of local authorities to arbitrary behavior of from officers from the law enforcement agencies.    

Speaking in an interview with Asia-Plus, one of demonstrators said that two officers from local prosecutor’s office, who had allegedly been involved in extortion of money and products from local traders, were beaten in GBAO’s Roshtqala district on March 14, “and we have gathered here to draw attention of the regional government to arbitrary behavior from officers of the local law enforcement agencies.”   

Demonstrators also staged a protest against illegal handover of six villages of the region to the Tavildara district.  The demonstrators noted that the decision on transferring the villages to Tavildara is in contrary with the country’s Constitution, under which the territory of the Gorno Badakhshan Autonomous Region (GBAO) cannot be changed without the consent of the GBAO regional legislature (Majlis).  

We will recall that the 14th session of the Majlisi Milli (Tajikistan’s upper chamber of parliament) on March 6 passed a resolution on transferring six villages of Gorno Badakhshan’s Darvoz district  – Sayod, Sayodi Nav, Khur, Ghurum, Vujun and Sabzikharv -- to jurisdiction of the Tavildara district.  Members of the Majlisi Milli justified their decision by saying that although the mentioned villages were under jurisdiction of the Darvoz district but they are located outside administrative borders of the region.      

The GBAO governor as well as regional chief prosecutor and heads of the GBAO police and security directorates met with representatives of the demonstrators to consider their demands.  

The meeting lasted about two or two and half hours and the demonstrators then disbursed.