A Moscow court has extended the pretrial detention of four Tajik nationals suspected of committing a deadly terrorist attack on the Crocus City Hall concert venue in March that left more than 140 people dead.

A Telegram-channel of Moscow’s Courts of General Jurisdiction said on May 16 that Moscow's Basmanny District Court has ruled to extend the pretrial detentions of four other Tajik nationals – Lutfullo Nazirmad, Jumakhon Qurbonov, Yakubjon Yusufzoda and Muhammad Sharifzoda.  The defendants accused of assisting in the terrorist attack will remain in custody until August 22, 2024

Recall, the Basmanny district court yesterday hours earlier ruled that Muhammadsobir Faizov, Dalerjon Mirzoyev, Saidakram Rajabalizoda and Fardoun Shamsiddin Saidakram Rajabalizoda, Dalerjon Mirzoev, Muhammadsobir Faizov, and Shamsiddin Fariduni must stay in custody until at least August 22.  

Several other Tajik nationals and a Kyrgyz-born Russian citizen were arrested for their alleged involvement in the attack.

On March 22, as a Russian band was preparing to take the stage at the Crocus City Hall concert venue in the outskirts of Moscow before a sold-out house, four gunmen entered the hall.  They opened fire and set the concert hall ablaze.  More than 500 people were injured, and ultimately 144 people were killed.

Almost immediately, media reports identified the attackers as ethnic Tajiks.  Two days after the attack, four suspects appeared in a Moscow court, each bearing visible signs of torture – bruised eyes, a severed ear.  Their court appearance was prefaced by videos circulating on social media of their violent interrogations.  

Russian authorities have said 11 Tajik citizens and a Kyrgyzstan-born Russian citizen have been arrested in connection with the attack, Russia’s worst terrorist attack in two decades. Responsibility was claimed by the Islamic State-Khorasan (IS-K), an affiliate of the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group.

The life of Tajik migrant workers in Russia has consistently deteriorated in recent years, especially after the launch by Russia of the so-called “special military operation” in Ukraine in February 2022.  However, after the Crocus City Hall terrorist attack, the pressure on labor migrants from Tajikistan has increased even more.