Kabiri, Muhiddin

Gender: .
State of concern: .

Who, Why and How exiled:

Leader of Islamic Revival Party of Tajikistan (IRPT) since 2006. Fled persecution following March 2015 and the loss in parliamentary elections, in addition to calls for closure of party. In 2000, Kabiri informed Human Rights Watch that he had received direct threats from a member of the presidential apparatus on at least two occasions. Kabiri had been warned "if you win we'll just cancel the elections; nonetheless, we don't need to take that step because it's all been pre-determined (Human Rights Watch, 2000).

Fearing prosecution on bogus charges, Kabiri went into self-imposed exile in Turkey in June 2015. Following the September events after the IRPT was officially banned, Kabiri was informed by Turkish authorities they could not guarantee his safety. Kabiri fled to Western Europe, where he has had to change locations frequently and hide his whereabouts (Human Rights Watch, 2016).

Category of exile: . (Definitions here.)

Which stages experienced: Stage 1   Stage 2   Stage 3. (Definitions here.)
Date of most serious incident: 2018.
Violence experienced: .

Stage 1 details (accusations/ charges/ Interpol notice/ extradition requests):

In July 2015 Kabiri claimed a criminal investigation is possible against him in Tajikistan. The party leader saw a cause for a statement of this sort in an article carried by the Jumhuriyat newspaper, a Tajik government media arm, which alleged a criminal investigation was being prepared against the IRPT leader based on facts of illegal privatisation from sixteen years ago (Fergana news, 2015).

In Kabiri’s absence, Tajik authorities have targeted his relatives who remain in Tajikistan- arbitrarily detaining and interrogating them about Kabiri and the party. The government has confiscated much of Kabiri’s and his relatives’ property and prevented his relatives from leaving the country (Human Rights Watch, 2016).

Stage 2 details (arrest/ detention/ extradition):

In October 2018 Kabiri has been sentenced by the High Court of Tajikistan in absentia to a lengthy prison term. Information about how long the prison sentence was, and of what charges Kabiri was found guilty, was not made public.(RFL/RE, 2019)

Stage 3 details (attack/ abduction/ rendition/ torture/ assassination/ death):

In August a man claiming to be an officer with Tajikistan’s security services GKNB has reported to have been ordered to assist in the preparations to assassinate Kabiri. This plan was still in place, he says. (Eurasianet. Aug 23, 2018)

Other actions during Stages 1–3 (dispossession/ overseas assets frozen/ intimidation/ action against associates/ …):

Relatives of the leader of the IRPT, like the families of many other activists of the party, were subjected to severe pressure from the government , including Kabiri Dzhamshed Narzulloev's cousin, brother of the leader of the IRPT, Mahmadullo Rahmatulloev  Kabiri driver who is also a relative of his wife, Hikmat Saifov were all convicted for helping Kabiri. They were all placed under surveillance of the government (Fergana news, 2017)

The 95-year-old father of Mukhiddin Kabiri Tillo Kabirov, was also subject to pressure from authorities. In January 2016, at the Dushanbe airport, Tillo Kabirov was removed from a flight to Istanbul, where he was going to fly out for treatment. In October the father of the leader of the IRPT passed away (Fergana news, 2017).

He has been issued with an Interpol Red Notice since 2016 (Radio Free Europe, 2016).

International arrest warrant: .

Countries of transit, asylum and/or residence: , .

Current status:

In February 2017 he received a refugee status in an EU country. His wife is exiled in Istanbul and his son lives in Germany (The Diplomat, 2017).

In February 2018 the Interpol Red Notice on Muhiddin Kabiri was removed (Interpol, 2018).


Press sources:

Fergana News, "Muhiddin Kabiri: Closing IRPT will not bring about better life in Tajikistan". 6th July 2015. [Online]. Available at:  http://enews.fergananews.com/articles/2930 (Last accessed on 31st March 2016)


Radio Free Europe, 2016. ‘Tajikistan's Islamic Party Leader Added To Interpol Wanted List’, 06 Sept. 2016.. Radio Free Europe.[Online]. Available at: https://www.rferl.org/a/tajikistan-islamic-party-chief-interpol-list/27968735.html


Human Rights Watch, "Tajikistan: Severe Crackdown on Political Opposition", 17th February 2016. [Online]. Available at: https://www.hrw.org/news/2000/03/28/widespread-fraud-tajikistans-parlimentary-elections (Last accessed on 16th April 2016)


'Human Rights Watch, "Widespread Fraud in Tajikistan's Parlimentary Elections", 28th March 2000. [Online]. Available at: https://www.hrw.org/news/2000/03/28/widespread-fraud-tajikistans-parlimentary-elections (Last accessed on 31st March 2016)


The Diplomat,  "Exiled Tajik opposition Leader Speaks". 1 May,2017.[Online]. Available at:  http://thediplomat.com/2017/05/exiled-tajik-opposition-leader-speaks/ (Last accessed 4th May, 2017).


Khamidova, P. 2016. Interview with Muhiddin Kabiri, Leader of the Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan In-Exile. Central Asia Policy Brief No. 33, January 2016. [Online]. Available at: http://centralasiaprogram.org/blog/2016/01/27/interview-with-muhiddin-kabiri-leader-of-the-islamic-renaissance-party-of-tajikistan-in-exile/  (Last accessed 16.05.2017)


Fergana news, "Мухиддин Кабири — об Интерполе, запрете ПИВТ, генерале Назарзода и будущем оппозиции в изгнании". 4th April, 2017. [Online]. Available at: http://www.fergananews.com/articles/9351


Interpol. 2018. INTERPOL removes Red Notice for persecuted Tajikistan opposition leader. Fair Trials. Available at: https://www.fairtrials.org/news/interpol-removes-red-notice-persecuted-tajikistan-opposition-leader[Accessed February 14, 2019].
RFL/RE 27 Jan 2019. ‘We Have Succeeded In Surviving’: An Interview With Exiled Tajik Islamic Party Leader Muhiddin Kabiri. RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty. Available at: https://www.rferl.org/a/interview-with-exiled-tajik-islamic-party-leader-muhiddin-kabiri/29733702.html[Accessed February 14, 2019].
Eurasianet. Aug 23, 2018. Tajikistan: Alleged security services agent reveals assassination plot | Eurasianet. Available at: https://eurasianet.org/tajikistan-alleged-security-services-agent-reveals-assassination-plot (accessed 16 March 2019)