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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Poet Arrested In Dushanbe On Way Here

A well-known Tajik poet has been arrested while trying to flee to Moscow, Izvestia reported Tuesday.

The newspaper said that the poet, Bozora Sobira, was arrested in the capital Dushanbe on Friday night for "insulting the honor and dignity of members of the Tajikistan government".

Sobira was a member of the Supreme Soviet, Tajikistan's parliament, until the fall of 1992, when he resigned. He is one of the leaders of the democratic movement in Tajikistan and was part of a coalition government last year of democrats and members of the Islamic Rebirth Party.

Since the downfall of the democratic-Islamic coalition, Tajikistan's new pro-communist government has been carrying out a campaign of harassment against members of the opposition -- many of whom have disappeared, said Denber of Helsinki Watch.

"We are aware that Sobira was arrested on Friday, but we have not yet been able to confirm that he has been charged with anything", said Rachel Denber, director of the Moscow office of Helsinki Watch, an international human rights, group, which will issue a letter protesting the arrest.