Eurasianet says Tajik law enforcement agencies on August 14 arrested three sons of Said Qiyomiddin Ghozi – a late founding member of the Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan, or IRPT, which was designated an extremist group in 2015.

Ghozi died in mysterious circumstances in prison last year.  He was extradited to Tajikistan from Russia in 2017 and was later convicted by the Supreme Court to 25 years in jail on extremism charges.  The term was later reduced to seven years, but Ghozi would never make it out of prison.

According to the government, a fight broke out one evening last May between imprisoned IRPT members and militants with a radical Islamic organization in a prison colony in Vahdat Township.  Ghozi was reportedly killed in the ensuing unrest.  

Radio Liberty’s Tajik Service, known locally as Radio Ozodi, says five of Ghozi’s sons were detained over the weekend.  Two were released after questioning, but three are still being held in a pre-trial detention facility.  The grounds for the detention of them are still unknown.   

Also according to Radio Ozodi, another one-time leading figure in the IRPT, Jaloliddin Mahmoudov, has likewise been detained.  The grounds for that detention too are not yet known.

Mahmoudov was arrested in 2015 on charges of illegal possession of weapons.  He was released from prison last year.

Recall, a court in the Hisor district sentenced IRPT activist Jaloliddin Mahmoudov, who was the member of the Central Commission for Elections and Referenda (CCER) from the IRPT, to five years in prison on July 20, 2015.  The sentence followed his conviction on charges of illegally acquiring and possessing weapons (Article 195 of Tajikistan’s Penal Code).  Mahmoudov served his term in a high-security penal colony.