Uzbekistan: former interior minister detained

TASHKENT (TCA) — Uzbekistan’s former interior minister has been detained, according to two law enforcement officials in the Central Asian state, though it remains unclear on what charges, RFE/RL’s Uzbek Service reports.

Adham Ahmadboev, who served as Uzbekistan’s interior minister for three years before he was dismissed by President Shavkat Mirziyoev in January 2017, was detained by security officers on January 26, according to a current official with the ministry who said he was among the group of officers that detained Ahmadboev.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity, saying he was not authorized to speak publicly about the matter.

Ahmadboev, 52, “was detained and placed into the Interior Ministry’s detention center on the order of the interior minister and prosecutor-general,” the official told RFE/RL.

The former minister was taken in handcuffs from his apartment in Tashkent’s Beshagach district, the official said.

A source in the Prosecutor-General’s Office confirmed to RFE/RL that Ahmadboev was currently in custody.

In a December 22 address to parliament, Mirziyoev called Ahmadboev “a traitor.”

“I could not accept the fact while being Uzbekistan’s minister, he became a traitor and joined one group,” Mirziyoev said without elaborating.

Mirziyoev fired Ahmadboev from his ministerial post and appointed him a presidential adviser in early January 2017, a month after he was elected president following the death of longtime authoritarian President Islam Karimov.

Three months later, Ahmadboev was removed from the presidential adviser’s post and became an instructor at the Interior Ministry’s academy in Tashkent.

In late December, reports said that Ahmadboev had retired, while one of his close associates told RFE/RL that he was stripped of all his ranks and placed under house arrest.

Ahmadboev was appointed interior minister by Karimov in December 2013, and less than a year later he was given the rank of lieutenant general.

Sergey Kwan