Tajik opposition leader stabbed in Moscow

Last Updated: Friday, January 13, 2012 - 23:27

Moscow: An exiled opposition leader from
Tajikistan whose party and publications angered the ex-Soviet
nation`s authoritarian leader was stabbed in Moscow, police
and associates said on Friday.

Dodojon Atovulloyev was attacked yesterday in central
Moscow on the way out of a restaurant and was hospitalised
with two knife wounds, Moscow police said in a statement.

Atovulloyev`s associate Dilovar Ashurov told The
Associated Press that after a complicated operation the
politician "feels normal".

He declined to comment whether the attack was related to
Atovulloyev`s political activity.

Police also said a 23-year-old Tajik national was
detained shortly after the assault on Atovulloyev with traces
of blood on his hands and clothes. He was released, however,
after his "innocence was proven," police said.

The 56-year-old Atovulloyev left Tajikistan in 1992 and
lives in Germany and Russia. He leads the Vatandor (Patriot)
party, which is opposed to the policies of President Emomali
Rakhmon.

He also edits the Charoghi-Ruz (Light of Day) newspaper
that fiercely criticises Rakhmon and has been banned by his
government.

Most of Rakhmon`s political opponents have been jailed on
charges they call trumped up or were forced to leave the
country.

Rakhmon came to power in 1994 after a civil war between a
secular government and mostly Islamic opposition.

Almost two decades after the war, the mountainous nation
of 7.5 million remains the poorest former Soviet republic.
Around half the male working-age population work abroad,
mostly in Russia, and many labour migrants support
Atovulloyev`s party.

Atovulloyev returned to Tajikistan in 2004, but left
shortly after saying he feared for his life.

PTI



First Published: Friday, January 13, 2012 - 23:27

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