The leader of the Social-Democratic Party of Tajikistan (SDPT) Rahmatillo Zoyirov believes that attack that was launched on him in Dushanbe on November 9 was politically motivated.  

Rahmatillo Zoyirov said on his Facebook account on November 14 that he was attacked by a group of two men and one woman in Dushanbe late on November 9 while he was taking his dog for a walk.

Zoyirov said that the attack began with a woman in her mid- to late thirties verbally berating him in the street, calling him “a traitor.”  Later, the woman was reportedly joined by a young man, who also hurled insults at Zoyirov.

As the verbal onslaught was taking place, a third man came up from behind and hit him with a metal bar, Zoyirov said.  He said he threw up his right hand to protect his head and the bar badly injured his hand.

Rahmatillo Zoyirov told Asia-Plus yesterday that he remembers faces of his assailants and could identify them.

“The assailants knew me by sight, they knew my name.  I believe the attack was politically motivated,” Zoyirov said.  He refrained from giving further comments on the incident.  

Meanwhile, Radio Liberty’s Tajik Service reports that SDPT leader said that he saw several police officers nearby but that they did not rush to assist him.  He reportedly said he had told police and security officials by phone about the attack hours later and urged them to find his assailants, but that there was no response.

Police told RFE/RL’s Tajik Service that they have taken no action because they have received no written complaint.

According to RFE/RL, Zoyirov, who is a lawyer by profession, now works on a permanent basis in Kazakhstan and periodically travels to Tajikistan, where he has been unable to find a job for years.

Founded in 2002, the Social-Democratic Party was registered on December 20, 2002.  It was originally registered as the Party of Justice and Development on February 5, 1999.  Tajikistan’s Ministry of Justice requested the same year that the Supreme Court ban the party’s activities and its registration was canceled.  The party re-emerged and was registered under the name of the Social-Democratic Party in late 2002.  Chairman of the Social-Democratic Party is Rahmatillo Zoyirov and the party reportedly has 7,500 members.

The party backbone members reportedly include practicing lawyers from the legal firm Sipar and the party leader Rahmatillo Zoyirov is the head of Legal Consortium of Tajikistan.

Although the SDPT is officially registered in Tajikistan, it has never been represented in the parliament.