Protests ended in Khorog, the capital of the Gorno Badakhshan Autonomous Region (GBAO), yesterday after several hours of negotiations between the government officials and representatives of the rally participants.

Radio Liberty’s Tajik Service reports that during the talks, the authorities reportedly pledged not to launch criminal probes against the protesters who had been staging the rally in front of the GBAO regional administration building in Khorog since November 25, said a local activist who attended the negotiations.

The officials also promised to open an investigation into the death of a local man who was shot dead by police in an incident that sparked the four-day protests.

Police reportedly also removed several checkpoints they had set up in the city after the tensions began.

Dismantling the checkpoints was among the protesters’ requests.

The protesters dispersed yesterday afternoon and the situation in the city have reportedly returned to normal.

Earlier, police sources said that GBAO acting governor, Alisher Mirzonabot, and several other officials and lawmakers were negotiating with some 40 representatives of protesters in the governor’s office to end the tensions.

Recall, the incident took place on the morning of November 25.  The GBAO prosecutor’s office confirmed that in the village of Tavdem in GBAO’s Roshtqala district, an operation was carried out by law enforcement agencies to capture Gulbiddin Ziyobekov, who was wanted on charges of taking hostages and inciting ethnic hatred.  “During the operation, he put up armed resistance and began firing from a Makarov pistol, which he possessed illegally.  The offender was wounded by return fire,” the message says.

Some eyewitnesses of the events claim that Gulbiddin Ziyobekov was shot in the head and died on the way from Roshtqala to Khorog.

A local official, on condition of anonymity, said that Ziyobekov should have been detained in connection with the beating of an employee of the prosecutor’s office in 2020. The prosecutor’s office claims that “Ziyobekov and several other young people took hostage the assistant prosecutor of the Roshtqala region A. Abirzoda on February 1, 2020, and tortured and beat him for eight hours.”  Ziyobekov, according to local authorities, did not come to testify in this case.

According to one of the residents of the Roshtqala district Ziyobekov and other young guys beat the prosecutor’s office officer Abirzoda for offering an intimate relationship to a local young woman.