Pevistamo Abdulmuminova, the mother of Gulbiddin Ziyobekov, who was killed by law enforcement officers on November 25, has contacted the Asia-Plus editorial office. 

She says it is hard for her that people, who went to the rally in Khorog for her son, today are being persecuted.  

According to Pevistamo, the body of her son was brought to the square in Khorog at her request, because at that moment she and her other sons were not at home when she was informed that Gulbiddin had been killed; therefore, she requested to take his body to the square in Khorog so that the authorities would answer her, why did they killed her son. 

“People came to the square because they felt my pain.  They stood next to me to share it, while no one from the authorities came to me for two days while I stood with the body of my son in the square.  No one answered me why my son was so brutally killed.  If they told me that my son committed a crime worth killing for, I would take his body and leave the square, but no one answered me and now criminal proceedings are being instituted against people for not leaving me alone with my grief,” says Pevistamo Abdulmuminova.  

According to her, criminal proceedings have also been instituted against her son Muqbil Ziyobekov and his two cousins – Dilovar Khurramov and Olim Nasriddinov, who took the brother’s body from the morgue.

“They think that the bodies of our sons must lie somewhere like something unnecessary, and that his relatives should have left him there.  But how can they leave their brother's body?...   One of my sons was killed, now they want to jail another one,” says she.  

According to her, many people from their village are now being persecuted.  One of the residents is being persecuted for picking up and taking one of the wounded to the hospital after the shooting at the rally.  

The wounded young man died on the way to the hospital, but criminal proceedings have been instituted against the person who tried to save him. 

“Why do they not prosecute those who shot at unarmed people?  Three persons were killed and seventeen others wounded.  As I was told seven of them had already become disabled,” Pevistamo Abdulmuminova noted. 

“I tried to get through to the authorities, the State Committee for National Security, Prosecutor’s Office, but no one wants to hear me.  Today (January 17 -- author's note) I sent a letter to the president.  I really hope he hears me, because here no one wants and is not going to delve into what happened.  My hope is only in the president so that people who took to the square and demanded a fair investigation will not be persecuted; they are not guilty, they did not commit a crime…  If my letter does not reach him, then I will have to hang myself near the regional administration building, maybe then it will be possible to draw attention to the injustice that is happening here,” Pevistamo Abdulmuminova says.  

At the same time, according to her, she has no claims to the investigation into the death of her son, because her main complaint is only that pressure is put on the population in connection with the death of her son and that nobody want to persecute those who killed unarmed people during the rally. 

Recall, the incident took place on the morning of November 25.  It is to be noted that sources from law enforcement agencies and statements of the witnesses and Ziyobekov’s relatives contradict each other.

The Gorno Badakhshan Autonomous Region (GBAO) prosecutor’s office says an operation was carried out by law enforcement agencies in the village of Tavdem, Roshtqala district 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,” said a statement released by the GBAO prosecutor’s office.  Gulbiddin Ziyobekov was reportedly shot in the head and died on the way from Roshtqala to Khorog.

The relatives of the deceased deny this.  Commenting to the Tajik media, they say Ziyobekov was killed on his way from Roshtqala district to Khorog, where his family found his body in the morgue with seven bullet wounds: three in the legs, two in the stomach, one in the heart and one in the head.

Several thousand people gathered in front of the GBAO regional administration building in Khorog on November 25 in a demand for justice.  The four-day rally ended in the afternoon of November 28 after several hours of negotiations between the government officials and representatives of the protesters.

However, the authorities have not fulfilled agreements reached between them and protesters.