Journalist and Politician Ahmadshokh Komilzoda Detained in Tajikistan

Journalist and first deputy chairman of the Democratic Party of Tajikistan Ahmadshokh Komilzoda has been detained in Dushanbe. A source in Tajikistan’s law enforcement agencies said on condition of anonymity that Komilzoda has been held in a pre-trial detention center since June 15. He declined to provide other details.

Another source close to Tajikistan’s Prosecutor General’s Office confirmed Komilzoda’s detention, adding that his computer and a second phone were seized on June 16. According to him, “Komilzoda’s detention is related to the case of Saidjafar Usmonzod, a member of parliament and former chairman of the Democratic Party,” who was detained on June 12 in Dushanbe on suspicion of attempting to seize power. The source also reported that “a criminal case has been opened against Ahmadshokh Komilzoda,” but did not know under which article.

Ahmadshokh Komilzoda was an active member of the Rastokhez movement and director of Tajikistan Television in the late 1990s. In 1993, he was held along with several other journalists, who spent time in detention. Komilzoda was also a spokesman for the National Reconciliation Commission, which was established after the signing of the peace agreement which ended the civil war. Until 2011, he was a correspondent for Voice of America in Tajikistan.