Relatives of Tajik opposition activist Bilol Qurbonaliyev, who was deported from Germany for allegedly violating immigration rules, told Radio Liberty’s Tajik Service on December 22 that he has been arrested in Dushanbe.

His mother, Khusandoy Ghulomova told radio Liberty’s Tajik Service on December 22 that Bilol Qurbonaliyev is being held at a detention facility of the State Committee for National Security (SCNS).

According to her, Bilol’s farther took him food to the SCNS-run detention facility on December 20 and the guard took food from him.

RFE/RL says Bilol Qurbonaliyev, a member of the banned Group 24, was among opposition activists from Tajikistan protesting against the visit of President Emomali Rahmon in Berlin on September 29.

Radio Liberty’s Tajik Service notes that there was no comment by Tajik authorities about Qurbonaliyev’s arrest. 

Group 24 reportedly expressed concern that Qurbonaliyev will face torture in Tajikistan.  

Tajikistan’s Supreme Court banned Tajikistan’s opposition organization Group 24 on October 9, 2014 following growing government pressure on the opposition group after it used the Internet to call for street protests in the capital, Dushanbe, on October 10, 2014.

Supreme Court ruled that Group 24 is an extremist organization, and therefore, it is banned in Tajikistan.  Its website and printed materials were also banned.

In February 2019, former members of the opposition movement Group 24, who returned to Tajikistan, asked the Tajik authorities to remove the organization from the extremist organizations list.  They said the organization does not pose threat to Tajikistan’s security anymore.

Dozens of opposition figures, independent journalists, and rights activists have been handed lengthy prison terms on extremism and other charges in Tajikistan in recent years.