Belarusian authorities have extradited Tajik opposition activist Nizomiddin Nasriddinov to Tajikistan despite warnings from human rights groups that he "would be at serious risk of arbitrary detention and torture on the basis of his political beliefs."

Radio Liberty’s Tajik Service, known locally as Radio Ozodi, reported on July 24 that Germany-based relatives of the activist said they were informed of the move by Nasriddinov's lawyer on July 24.

Nasriddinov was reportedly detained at Dushanbe's request while entering Belarus from Lithuania in January.

He is wanted in Tajikistan on a charge of calling for extremist actions, which right groups call unfounded.  Nasriddinov has refugee status in Germany. 

Recall, Enira Bronitskaya of Human Constanta rights group told Radio Liberty on March 14 that Nizomiddin Nasriddinov was detained on January 8 this year while crossing the Lithuania-Belarus border.

“Since then he has been held in a detention center in Grodno,” the Human Constanta activist said, adding that Nasriddinov is wanted in Tajikistan on "trumped up" charges of calling for extremist actions and justification of extremism.

According to her, the Prosecutor-General’s Office of Tajikistan requested to extradite Nizomiddin Nasriddinov and the Prosecutor general’s Office of Belarus on February 21 gave consent for extradition of Nasriddinov to Tajikistan.  

While delivering a statement at a meeting of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in 2017, Nasriddinov introduced himself as a member of Group 24.  

Nasriddinov has resided in Germany since October 2015.  The German authorities have reportedly granted asylum to him and his family.

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.