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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Lawyers Decry 'Secret Transfer'

DUSHANBE, Tajikistan -- Lawyers for a Tajik opposition leader who went missing in Moscow two weeks ago and re-emerged in Tajik police custody said Saturday that people wearing Russian police uniforms were involved in his secret transfer.

Democratic Party leader Makhmadruzi Iskandarov, who has said he would run for the Tajik presidency next year, went missing in Moscow on April 15 after being freed by Russian authorities. He had been detained four months earlier in Moscow on a Tajik extradition request.

Tajik Prosecutor General Bobojon Bobokhonov said last week that Iskandarov was under arrest in Tajikistan on charges of terrorism, illegal possession of arms, attempted murder, abuse of office and theft of state funds. He did not disclose details of his arrest.

Iskandarov's lawyers, Azam Bodriddinov and Shirinmokh Ibronova, said Saturday that their client had been abducted by several people wearing Russian police uniforms.

They said Iskandarov was kept in a banya for a day and then handed over to some plainclothes people in woods on the outskirts of Moscow, who took him to an unknown airport and put him on a plane that brought him to the Tajik capital, Dushanbe, on April 17.

Iskandarov said he was alone on the plane with the people escorting him, who appeared to be Russian, and one flight attendant, his lawyers said. Iskandarov was now being questioned by Tajik investigators, they said.