Representatives of the Gorno Badakhshan Autonomous region (GBAO) civil society have requested 30 minutes of airtime on regional TV station TV Badakhshon for their statement.  

“We yesterday applied to acting governor of GBAO Alisher Mirzonabot, the head of the GBAO TV and Radio directorate M. Shodi and the head of the Committee for TV and Radio-broadcasting under the Government of Tajikistan Nouriddin Said asking for allocating us 30 minutes of airtime on the local TV station, TV Badakhshon,” Khujamri Pirmamadov, a spokesman for Group 44, told Asia-Plus in an interview today morning by phone.  

“In view of the current situation in GBAO, the lack of access to Internet in the region and the emergence of all kinds of rumors in society, we, representatives of civil society, consider it important to speak on TV and give our opinion on the current situation, and call on residents not to believe any rumors and lead a normal life,” Pirmamadov said. 

“We are convinced that our statement will contribute to further fostering calm in society, and therefore, we ask to allocate 30 minutes of airtime on TV Badakhshon to our representatives.  We believe that there is freedom of speech in our society and everyone is free to express their opinion,” he quoted the text of the appeal.  

According to Pirmamadov, they expect a response to their request within three days.  However, he noted that they have not yet received response to their appeal to Rustam Emomali, the head of the upper chamber (Majlisi Milli) of parliament.  

In a video message made to Majlisi Milli speaker, members of Group 44 asked him to take the situation in Khorog under his personal control and support them in maintaining peace and stability in the region.

They, in particular, noted in the message that “peace and stability in GBAO is under threat due to actions of the law enforcement authorities.”  The video message was posted on Pamir Daily News’ website in the evening of December 19.

Group 44 was set up from among the protesters in Khorog, the capital of GBAO, on November 28 to monitor the implementation of agreements reached between the protesters and GBAO’s government.  Six members of Group 44 joined the investigation team, which is investigating the circumstances of the death of the resident of Roshtqala district Gulbiddin Ziyobekov.

Several thousand people participated in a four-day protest rally in the central square of Khorog following the killing of Gulbiddin Ziyobekov by law enforcement authorities.  The rally ended on the evening of November 28, after the protesters and the authorities reached the agreement.  The authorities agreed to refrain from any kind of persecution of the protesters, to conduct a quick, impartial, and effective investigation into the deaths of Gulbiddin Ziyobekov, Gulnazar Murodbekov, and Tutisho Amirshoyev, to restore Internet access in GBAO and terminate the permanent checkpoints in the city.

However, the authorities have not yet fulfilled any of the terms of the agreement reached between them and protesters on November 28.