Russia / Tajikistan: Fear of refoulement / possible prisoner of conscience: Akhmadzhon Makhmudzhanovich Saidov
Akhmadzhon Saidov, a retired army officer and former deputy speaker of the parliament of Tajikistan, is reported to be at serious risk of refoulement to Tajikistan where there are fears he may become a prisoner of conscience. He was arrested in Moscow on 7 February 1997 on the basis of a warrant for his arrest issued in Tajikistan on charges of "abuse of authority" and "embezzlement". There are strong suspicions that the charges are fabricated and that he is being punished for his perceived connection to a group of former senior Tajik government members who have formed a new political group, the National Revival Bloc. Akhmadzhon Saidov was born in Uzbekistan and had served in the Soviet army in Russia. He is said to be laying claim to Russian citizenship, which if confirmed, might significantly increase his chances of resisting extradition.