DUSHANBE, August 23, 2010, – Yoqub Salimov and Ghaffor Mirzoyev were not among 25 prisoners that escaped from pretrial detention facility # 1 in Dushanbe overnight.

The source at one of power wielding facilities of the country says Yoqub Salimov was recently transferred from the pretrial detention facility to one of penal colonies based in Dushanbe.  “As far as Ghaffor Mirzoyev is concerned, his name was not on the escapees’ list,” said the source, “However, Abdurasoul Mirzoyev, the brother of Ghaffor Mirzoyev, is among the escapees.” 

We will recall that Yoqub Salimov and Ghaffor Mirzoyev were among top commanders of the pro-government Popular Front during the country’s 1992-1997 civil war.

Yoqub Salimov was once Tajikistan’s interior minister, ambassador to Turkey, and chairman of the state customs committee.  He was sentenced to 15 years in prison in April 2005.  After a five-month trial, the Supreme Court found Salimov guilty of treason, banditry, and abuse of office.

Lieutenant-General Ghaffor Mirzoyev, once the former commander of the 3,000-strong Presidential Guard and the former head of the Drug Control Agency, was jailed for life in August 2006 on charges ranging from tax evasion, corruption, abuse of power, plotting a coup and the murder of a police officer in 1998.

Abdurasoul Mirzoyev was sentenced to 30 years in prison on July 20 this year.  The sentence followed his conviction on the charges of terrorism, illegal possession of weapons and coup attempt.