Valiev, Sobir

The fact that the graffiti appeared in his house, according to the Tajik Special Services is undoubtedly a formal pretext for opening an investigative case the critic of the regime of Emomali Rakhmon. Tajik law enforcement agencies took interest in Sobir Valiev while he lived in Kyrgyzstan. In the opposition media, he openly criticised Tajik officials for their involvement in corruption and violations of fundamental rights and freedoms. His activity intensified after the murder of the leader of the Group 24 (Huamn Rights Watch, 2015).

Gender: .
State of concern: .

Who, Why and How exiled:

Valiev is the deputy head of the Congress of Constructive Forces of Tajikistan and deputy leader of Group 24 (Human Rights Watch, 2015).

Category of exile: . (Definitions here.)
Alleged affiliation: Group of 24, New Tajikistan.

Which stages experienced: Stage 1   Stage 2   not Stage 3. (Definitions here.)
Date of most serious incident: 2015.
Violence experienced: .

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

Tajik authorities have charged Valiev with “public calls for carrying out extremist activity (Human Rights Watch, 2015).

Valiev’s relatives told Human Rights Watch that Tajik police and security services began pursuing him and harassing his family members in Dushanbe in 2014 after he began publicly criticizing the Tajik government and calling for democratic reforms via YouTube and other Internet platforms such as Zello radio, a direct-messaging service popular among many Tajiks. A "Traitor” graffiti in Tajik language appeared on the gate and the fence of his house. Fearing further persecution, Valiev’s family members were forced to flee the country shortly thereafter for Turkey (Human Rights Watch, 2015).

In 2016 Kyrgyz authorities have detained his wife Janet Khamzaeva, who was released later the same day of her detention on the condition that she remains in the country (Radio Free Europe, 2016).

Stage 2 details (arrest/ detention/ extradition):

Valiev was arrested on September 9th at the request of the Tajik authorities in Chisinau and has been charged for extremist actions (Human Rights Watch, 2015; Atayeva, 2015).

International arrest warrant: .

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

Legal status (refugee/ asylum seeker/ resident):

Valiev is a naturalised citizen of Kyrgyzstan as of 2008 and has renounced his Tajik citizenship. Yet, Tajik authorities have requested his extradition.

Current status:

He was released from detention in 2015 (Радио Озоди, 2015).

Sobir Valiev lived until 2015 in Istanbul. As of 2016 he is living in Warsaw, Poland (Radio Free Europe, 2015; 2016).

Acquired citizenship: .

Press sources:

Radio Free Europe, 2015. Собир Валиев вышел на свободу. (Accessed 10th May,2017)

Human Rights Watch. 2015. Moldova: Activist Faces Extradition to Tajikistan. (Accessed 10th May,2017)

Nadejda Atayeva Blog. 2015. Moldova: a member of Tajik opposition Sobir Valiev is under a threat of extradition.  (Accessed 10th May,2017)

Radio Free Europe, 2016.Kyrgyzstan Detains Wife Of Tajik Opposition Activist. (Accessed 10 May,2017)