Embassy of Tajikistan to the United Kingdom
of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
July 28, 2012
On the Khorog’s Events
On the 21 July around 17.30 near Navodak settlement of Khorog Head of Department of the State Committee on National Security General Nazarov Abdullo was killed by striking several knife wound to chest and head by unknown armed group of 15-20 people. Accompanying him representatives of Department of the State Committee on National Security O.Aubov, S.Rajabov, I.Huseynov and driver Sh. Davlatbekov were beaten. Attackers under the threat of violence have seized their weapons (1 machine gun and 2 handguns) and disappeared from the scene of the crime. Upon this fact Prosecutors’ office of Gorno Badakhshan Autonomous Oblast(GBAO) has instituted proceeding based on articles: “murder committed with severe cruelty in connection with official activities based on mercenary motives on hire, contingent with robbery with a purpose of hiding other criminal action”; “misappropriation of weapons, munitions, explosive agents and devices committed by organized group forcibly action dangerous for life of health”; and “application of force against representatives of the authorities dangerous for life and health”.
Preliminary investigation showed that this crime was committed by the members of illegal armed group headed by former member of United Tajik Opposition armed unit, resident of Khorog, commander of Ishkashim frontier brigade Ayombekov Tolibbek.
It should be noticed that after cessation of civil war T.A. Ayombekov notwithstanding that he was integrated into government law enforcement structures of Tajikistan, not only did not return weapons belonged to him and members of his group, but secretly formed illegal armed group.
Leaders of other three organized criminal groups headed by Imomnazarov I, Mahmadbakirov R. and Mahmadaslamov Y. has maintained contacts with Ayombekov.
Leaders of those organized criminal groups has gathered around them criminal youth, who under their leadership have committed more than 20 registered heinous and very heinous crimes, as gangsterism, murder, bodily injuries, smuggling of narcotics, precious stones, tobacco, human trafficking, armed opposition etc.
On 23rd July 2006 there was a skirmish between the armed gangs lead by Tolib Ayombekov and Mamadbokir Mahmadbokirov on the main street of the Khorog city, where a resident of Khorog Dodikhudoeva M.A. was killed by a stray bullet.
After committing the criminal acts, Mahmadbokirov and Ayombekov refused to appear before the investigating authorities. On August 17, 2006, when the officers of Badakhshan’s region Interior Department and the Ministry of Internal Affairs came to arrest Mahmadbokirov M., the latter united with members of the armed group led by Ayombekov Tolib, Mamadaslamov Yodgor and Imomnazarov Imomnazar, and refused to obey the legitimate demands of the Interior Ministry, and his supporters opened fire on the officials, injuring police officers. Later, the leaders of organized crime groups have organized a protest rally of involving women and young people in front of the GBAO regional administration building. Members of organized crime groups attacked a building of the police department, smashing windows and doors. On the same day, Mahmadbokirov Mamadbokir with Ayombekov Tolib, Mamadaslamov Yodgor and Imomnazarov Imomnazar committed an armed attack on the police department building, during which disarmed the police and confiscated weapons of the military officials. They have also attacked the regional government building, causing material damage by smashing windows and doors.
In addition, on March 14, 2008 Ayombekov Tolib together with the armed group consisting of 30-35 people came to Roshtkal’a district and launched an attack on Badakhshan prosecutors who conducted the investigation of a case with regard to tax evasion by commercial companies which have been patronized by Ayombekov Tolib. At the same time, four members of the prosecutor’s office were severely beaten by armed gang, who later destroyed all documents of the investigation and evidences of the case.
According to law enforcement agencies of Tajikistan, the armed gang headed by Ayombekov Tolib is also involved in four cases of trafficking in persons (mainly women and young, underage girls). Three victims of these crimes, including a resident of Khorog, born in 1995 reported still missing. It was impossible to disclose these facts due to the opposition and resistance of this gang.
Along with the abovementioned, on July 10, 2011 Sadamshoev E. – a member of the group lead by Ayombekov Tolib in order to protest a regional court decision in respect of Rahmikhudoev K. held liable under the article "murder", gathered a group of young people consisting of 40-45 people attacked a courthouse of the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region. Upon entering the courthouse, they beat two deputy chairman of the court and three other officials of the court, smashing windows, tables and furniture. They later went to the building of the Prosecutor's Office, where they beat four of its employees. Because of heavy resistance and opposition of this criminal group, Sadamshoev E. was not taken into custody in accordance with the decision of the court.
Moreover, Tolib Ayombekov and Yodgor Mamadaslamov received a loan from the State Savings Bank of the Republic of Tajikistan "Amonatbank" of $ 250,000, and 300,000 U.S. dollars a few years ago respectively, but within five years, refused to return the loan and accrued interest thereon.
These groups are also actively engaged and linked in smuggling drugs from Afghanistan with a turnover of hundreds of thousands of dollars.
However, it should be noted that the actual number of offences committed by these criminal groups is significantly more than officially recorded. This is due to the fact that many victims, for fear of reprisals by these organized crime groups, did not apply to law enforcement authorities.
In addition, often by armed resistance the members of these gangs prevented the courts, prosecutors, police and other authorities in the discharge of their responsibilities to protect the rights and freedoms of citizens.
Thereby, these criminal groups, led by Ayombekov Tolib, Imomnazarov Imomnazar, Mamadaslamov Yodgor and Mahmadbokirov Mamadbokir were united and established a strong community in the criminal purposes of committing grave and especially grave crimes.
The murdering of General Abdullo Nazarov was also committed to demonstrate strength and resisting the work of law enforcement bodies. So, on June 5, 2012 at the customs office post in Ishkashim district, Afghan citizen Naseem and his accomplices have loaded 538 boxes of cigarettes «Pine» worth of 674 850 Tajik Somoni into a car belonging to a citizen of Tajikistan Nodirov R. On his return way to Kulob, Nodirov R. was arrested by National Security Committee Office in Kulob and legal proceeding was instituted against this case under the article "smuggling." The investigation has established that tobacco belonged to Ayombekov Tolib and was detained in accordance with the operational data provided by the Office of the National Security Committee in the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region. Ayombekov Tolib with the aim of taking revenge on law enforcement authorities had instructed his accomplices from among the members of the armed group to brutally murder General Abdullo Nazarov
In connection with this incident, a criminal case had been initiated. Prosecutor General's Office established an investigation team consisting of 5 persons headed by Deputy Prosecutor General, Chief Military Prosecutor Mr. Saidova M. H, which has been sent to Khorog on July 22, 2012. However, Ayombekov T.A. and its accomplices have refused flatly the requirement of investigating bodies for appearance and testifying.
In order to avoid further escalation of tensions in the region, on the instructions of the President of the country a Government Commission consisting of 20 persons, which included Deputies of the Majlisi Namoyandagon Majlisi Oli of the Republic Tajikistan Oli (the lower chamber of the parliament of Tajikistan), members of the Government, heads of law enforcement bodies, state and public figures, religious ulema and activists of Gorno Badakhshan.
The commission throughout three days (from July 21 till July 23) has conducted a number of meetings with Ayombekov Т. and its supporters during which unsuccessfully tried to incline them to lay down arms and transfer to law-enforcement bodies the persons who have committed the crime.
However, Ayombekov T.A. has rejected vigorously this offer, moreover has started mobilisation of criminal persons and mercenaries from among citizens of neighbouring Afghanistan for armed standoff against authorities.
In this connection, law-enforcement and power structures of Tajikistan in the morning July 24, 2012 began a special operation on neutralisation and detention of members of the organised criminal group and bringing them to book. Special operation continued one day. On the main reasons of the beginning of special operation in Khorog was distribution of 150 units of various fire-arms by Ayombekov Т. and Imomnazarov I. to their associates on July 23, i.e. a day before the beginning of the operation.
As a result of the special operation, in the city of Khorog 30 members of the illegal criminal group were killed and more than 40 were detained, among whom were 5 citizens of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. About 100 units of various fire-arms were withdrawn from them.
Unfortunately, during the special operation, the governmental forces also have sustained irretrievable casualties of 17 persons and more than 40 personnel of power structures had got wounds of various severity level. Among the population casualty was a 58 years-old man who lived in the neighbourhood of Imomnazarov I. Criminal cases were initiated against all these cases.
Since evening July 24, cease-fire had been declared; law-enforcement bodies had demanded from illegal armed groups to voluntary surrender their weapons. However, they have violated conditions of cease-fire and on the night of July 27 committed armed attack on the Department of Internal Affairs of the region and the place of stay of law-enforcement personnel therefore one person has been wounded.
Negotiations with the leaders of illegal armed formations on surrender of their weapons and the persons involved in murder of the general Nazarov A.S. are continuing.
During special operation there were no injuries among foreign citizens who were in the territory Gorno Badakhshan. Foreign tourists and employees of international organisations who expressed desire to leave Khorog the relevant help had been rendered, all of them were delivered to country capital, Dushanbe. The authorities of Tajikistan henceforth are ready to take all necessary measures for safety and legitimate interests of foreign citizens in the territory of GBAO.
Besides, in Khorog a commission was established from among representatives of the authorities and townsmen which has started a household inspection with a view of revealing of citizens who had probably suffered during special operation.
The measures taken by the Government of the country and local authorities, in interaction with public representatives of GBAO in the near future will lead to normalisation of situation in Khorog and its adjoining settlements, to restoration of public order and rule of law in this region.
The persons guilty of murder of General A. Nazarov and instigators of the armed standoff against representatives of authorities will be brought to criminal responsibility.
The President of Republic Tajikistan has charged all state structures to take paramount measures for normalisation of situation in Khorog and realisation of measures for social and economic development GBAO.