Tajik authorities must disclose the whereabouts of Asliddin Sharipov who disappeared after Russian authorities extradited him to Tajikistan earlier this fall, the Norwegian Helsinki Committee (NHC) said in a statement released on October 30. 

Asliddin Sharipov is the brother of the director of an opposition online television station and he was extradited from Russia in early October.

The statement notes that since his forced return to Tajikistan, Sharipov’s relatives have not been able to locate him, despite considerable efforts to do so.

“Having inquired with Russian authorities, the relatives received official confirmation from the Russian Prosecutor-General that Sharipov had been extradited.  Sharipov’s brother, Shavkat Muhammadi, told the NHC that the relatives then went on to inquire with the Tajik Prosecutor’s Office and the Interior Ministry, as well as the Ombudsman’s Office.  However, all their questions remain unanswered.  Moreover, Muhammadi told the NHC, Tajik law enforcement personnel threatened some of the relatives with reprisals, such as criminal prosecution, if they would not cease efforts to locate Sharipov,” says the statement.

"Tajik authorities must disclose the location of Asliddin Sharipov and explain why his relatives have not heard of him since his extradition from Russia," said the NHC Secretary-General Berit Lindeman.  “If authorities hold Sharipov, they must also release him or otherwise credibly charge him," she said in a statement.

The statement comes after Sharipov's brother, Shavkat Muhammadi, who is the director of the opposition Payom online TV channel and currently resides in the European Union, told RFE/RL that Tajik officials had refused to provide information about Sharipov's whereabouts

Recall, Sharipov’s relatives told RFE/RL’s Tajik Service, known locally as Radio Ozodi, that police in the Russian city of Yekaterinburg arrested him in September 2022 and extradited him to Tajikistan on October 1 after he spent almost a year in extradition detention.

Sharipov’s relatives reportedly cited official documents of the Tagilstroi district court in the Russian city of Nizhny Tagil as saying Sharipov is wanted in Tajikistan for alleged cooperation with two banned opposition groups -- the Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan (IRPT) and the Group 24 movement.  The charge stems from his online posts "supporting the two banned groups," the Russian court's documents say.

The IRPT, long an influential party with representatives in the Tajik government and parliament, was labeled a terrorist group and banned in Tajikistan in 2015.  Dozens of IRPT officials and supporters have been prosecuted and many of them imprisoned.

Group 24 was labeled as terrorist and extremist and banned in the tightly controlled former Soviet republic in 2014. In March 2015, the movement's founder, businessman Umarali Quvatov, was assassinated in Istanbul.

If convicted of cooperating with the banned groups, Sharipov may face up to eight years in prison.