MOSCOW, March 6 (RAPSI) – Turkish police are investigating the murder of Tajik opposition leader Umarali Kuvvatov who was fatally shot on Thursday evening in Istanbul, the Doğan News Agency reported on Friday.
The authorities are searching for the shooter and a certain Suleyman, with whom Kuvvatov had dinner before the shooting.
Police authorities decided that Kuvvatov’s murder will be investigated simultaneously by the homicide department and the counterterrorist section of the General Directorate of Security.
Umarali Kuvvatov was a Tajikistani businessman who headed the opposition movement, Group-24 (Guruhi-24). He was detained in Dubai at the request of the Tajikistani government in December 2012 and was released in September 2013, after being pardoned by Dubai.
In October 2014, the Supreme Court of Tajikistan ruled that Group-24 was an extremist movement and banned its activities and publications. On December 20, 2014, Turkish authorities arrested Kuvvatov for an alleged visa violation. Tajikistan requested extradition in January 2015, but Turkey refused.
Group-24 was charged in Tajikistan with plotting to overthrow the legitimate government.
The group leaders who live abroad urged compatriots via the social media to gather in the central square of Dushanbe, the capital of Tajikistan, on October 10, 2014 to protest against corruption and to demand the resignation of President Emomali Rahmon and honest elections. Although the demonstration was not held, the Tajik authorities took unprecedented security measures, including preventive measures, arresting three people on suspicion of being members of an extremist organization.