A four-day protest rally ended in Khorog, the capital of the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region (GBAO), Sunday (November 28) afternoon after several hours of negotiations between the government officials and representatives of the protesters.

“A four-day protest rally has ended in Khorog and an agreement has been reached between the authorities and the protesters,” Gholib Niyatbekov, a spokesman for GBAO governor told Asia-Plus Monday afternoon.  

“Proposals and demands of the protesters have been accepted and they have left the square. Their main demand was to bring the killer of Gulbiddin Ziyobekov to justice.  By governor’s order a special commission has been set up and investigation has been launched,” Niyatbekov added.    

He refrained from giving further details of the negotiations and the agreements reached, but noted that rumors about dismissal of Alisher Mirzonabot from the post of governor of the GBAO are absolutely baseless.   

Alisher Mrzonabot has not been dismissed, investigation into the killing of Gulbiddin Ziyobekov has been launched, and the local authorities have promised to restore Internet access in the region.   

Meanwhile, a person, who participated in negotiations with the government officials, told Asia-Plus on the basis of anonymity that “the authorities have also promised to withdraw military personnel from traffic police checkpoints who have been in the region since 2018, remove additional checkpoints that were set up in the city after the tensions began and restore access to Internet.”

“However, access to Internet has not yet been restored,” the source told Asia-Plus Monday afternoon.

According to some sources, the chief of the police department in Sughd province, Major-General Abdullo Navzhuvanov, heads the commission that has been sent up to investigate the incident.  

As Asia-Plus had reported earlier, the protesters put forward the following demands:


  1.         To investigate the case of the killing of Gulbiddin Ziyobekov and the case of those who shot at peaceful peal people as soon as possible.

2.         To withdraw 60-70 percent of servicemen that were brought to Khorog and replace them with residents of the region.

3.         To remove roadblocks in Khorog.

4.         To replace GBAO governor.

5.         To restore internet connection.\


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,” says a statement released by the GABO prosecutor’s office.

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

Several thousand people occupied a central square in Khorog on November 25 in a demand for justice.

Hundreds gathered outside the Tajik Embassy in Moscow the same day evening. 

On November 27, members of the Pamiri community picketed the offices of the United Nations in Dushanbe, but that rally was quickly broken up by police.

Tensions escalated on November 27 when GBAO governor Alisher Mirzonabot went to the square to plead with protesters.  According to some source, he promised that a commission would be set up to get to the bottom of the circumstances surrounding Ziyobekov’s killing, but the crowd was dissatisfied with his pledges and angered by his perceived intransigence, people in the crowd pelted him with stones as he began to leave the scene.  

A resident of Roshtqala district, on condition of anonymity, said that Ziyobekov should have been detained in connection with the beating of an employee of the Roshtqala 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, forcing him to issue an apology to camera..

The investigation was halted at the instigation of then-GBAO governor Yodgor Fayzov, who mediated a way out of the impasse.  Fayzov was removed from the post earlier this month.  His dismissal appears to have triggered a renewed effort to arrest Ziyobekov,