Some international organizations say alarming reports are coming out from Khorog and call on the authorities of Tajikistan to avoid bloodshed during this volatile situation.

Tajik authorities have increased their pressure on the so-called informal leaders in the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region (GBAO). 

Within several weeks, two so-called informal leaders of the GBAO were formally charged with inciting regional enmity and other serious crimes.  The move has reportedly aroused anger and suspicion among many people in the region.

In the GBAO capital, Khorog, prosecutors announced on February 2 they had charged local informal leader Mamadboqir Mamadboqirov with insulting and using force against a government representative, as well as inciting regional enmity.

The charges stemmed from a recent encounter between Mamadboqirov and a regional top education official.  Mamadboqirov, 58 denies the accusation.

The same day in Dushanbe, Tajik chief prosecutor Yusuf Rahmon confirmed that another informal leader of the GBAO, Amriddin Alovatshoyev, 44, had been extradited from Russia and was being held in pretrial detention.

The authorities accuse Alovatshoyev of organizing protest rallies and provoking anti-government sentiment among young people in Gorno-Badakhshan "from abroad." He denies the accusation.

Radio Liberty reported on February 4 that the criminal cases have angered many people in the GBAO.  It has reportedly left people in the region wondering about the government’s next step against them. 

The residents reportedly claim there has been a general sense of "unease and uncertainty" among many people since the November protests.

"Some people suspect that law-enforcement authorities are deliberately trying to provoke people so they have an excuse to conduct another security crackdown in the region," a Khorog resident told RFE/RL in an interview.

According to RFE/RL, Central Asian expert Lemon doesn't rule out the possibility of future disturbances if the authorities continue to use "repressive measures to arrest those accused of opposing the government."

He reportedly said that since the November protests, Dushanbe had refused to restore Internet access, dismantle military checkpoints, or to investigate what happened amid the violence and high number of deaths.

"We are likely to see renewed conflict in and around Khorog," he warned.

The developments come as military prosecutors continue a probe into a four-day anti-government rallies in Khorog  on November that broke out on November 25 after security forces killed a local man Gulbiddin Ziyobekov wanted on charges of kidnapping.  The rally participants demanded a probe into his death.

Some sources say at least two people – Gulnazar Murodbekov and Tutisho Amirshoyev – were killed and fifteen others were wounded after the first day of the rally, when government forces used live fire to disperse the crowd.  Several police officers have reportedly also been injured in clashes.

The Guardian reported on February 4 that parents of the men killed by Tajik forces in the GBAO last November have called on the international community to step in and urgently protect ethnic groups being targeted by the Tajik regime.

They reportedly have demanded that soldiers who killed their sons be brought to justice and urged the United Nations to prevent a new phase of conflict in Tajikistan.