Russia: an attempt on the life of a member of the Tajik opposition Maksud Ibragimov

On 26 November 2014, in Moscow, around 22:50, a member of the Tajik opposition Maksud Ibragimov received six stab wounds. The attack took place in the Tsaritsyno Southern administrative district of the capital, on Sevan Street. There were two assailants, they disappeared.

Maksud Ibragimov is at the Institute of Emergency Medicine named after Sklifosovsky. The first five days, doctors assessed his health, as serious. Now he is able to moves independently. The Moscow police guard his ward, even his relatives are not allowed to see him.

Maksud Ibragimov
Maksud Ibragimov was born on 3 November 1977 in Dushanbe; he has a dual citizenship of Tajikistan and the Russian Federation.

He is married and has three children. He has been living in Russia for over 15 years.

He is a founder and the Chairman of the Russian Youth Public Organisation titled “Youth of Tajikistan for the Revival of Tajikistan”. He is a member of the Supervisory Council of “New Tajikistan” the Opposition Coalition. A year ago, he started his active political public role. He gave many interviews in the media criticising the government of Tajikistan.

The attempt occurred near the place of Maksud Ibragimov’s residence. A Makarov pistol with a silencer was found at the crime scene. The assassins could not shoot because the fuse jammed. Ibragimov received six stab wounds, including three in his arm. Eyewitnesses claim that the assailants disappeared behind a house located on Sevan Street, and escaped in a foreign vehicle. None of the personal belongings of the victim was missing. Most likely, the crime was not committed with intent to rob.

A day before the assassination, at the Tsaritsyno District Department of the Ministry of Interior, Maksud Ibrahimov submitted a complaint about the threats against him by members of the Tajik law enforcement agencies. Ibragimov’s report was ignored even after Russia received a request for his extradition from the General Prosecutor of Tajikistan.
On 9 October 2014 Maksud Ibragimov was arrested in Moscow on the basis of an extradition request of Tajikistan which placed him in the international wanted list. Russia rejected this request, and on 11 October Ibragimov was released from custody.

Once M. Ibragimov announced that he has become a leader of an opposition organisation, the authorities began to exert pressure through his relatives living in Tajikistan. In addition, he received calls with threats of arrest, demanding to end his political activity. Ibragimov was also offered to return to Tajikistan and promised his safety. Over the last six months, such calls were particularly frequent.

The assassination attempt on Maksud Ibragimov caused panic among the citizens of Tajikistan living in Russia. Tajik migrants have become more serious about telephone threats.

The Association for Human Rights in Central Asia expresses concern about the attempt on Maksud Ibragimov. We call on Russia to provide legal protection to citizens of Tajikistan residing in its territory, who are threatened by Tajik law enforcement agencies.