Associates of Umarali Kuvvatov, a founding member of a Tajikistan opposition group, are at grave risk of further attacks after he was shot dead in Istanbul last night, Amnesty International said today.
Umarali Kuvvatov and his family previously told the organization he had received threats, as well as tips from sympathizers that there had been “orders” to harm them, allegedly coming from the highest levels of Tajikistan’s authorities.
“Umarali Kuvvatov’s killing sends a chilling and extreme message to Tajikistani political dissenters both at home and abroad. The Turkish authorities must lead an impartial, effective and prompt investigation into his unlawful killing, reveal the full truth and bring the perpetrators to justice,” said Denis Krivosheev, Amnesty International’s Deputy Europe and Central Asia Programme Director.
“We have received reports of death threats and attempted assassinations of dissenters from Tajikistan in foreign countries in recent years, but this is the first actual killing of a Tajikistani political activist. It begs the immediate question: how many more are at risk?”