Tajik authorities have confirmed detention of Amriddin Alovatshoyev in Russia and extradition of him to Tajikistan, though they had previously denied this.

In a report released at a news conference in Dushanbe, Tajikistan’s Prosecutor-General Yusuf Rahmon said on February 2 that Amriddin Alovatshoyev, 44, who is considered leader of the Gorno Badakhshan Autonomous Region (GBAO) youth in Russia, was detained in Russia and he is currently in Tajikistan.

The Tajik chief prosecutor refrained from giving further details. 

Meanwhile, Pamir Daily News -- a publication that focuses on GBAO -- reported on January 12 that Alovatshoyev had been “abducted” in Russia.

He and several other fellow GBAO natives were reportedly detained in the Russian city of Belgorod.  Those who were detained together with Alovatshoyev were soon released.  

At the time, Tajik authorities denied the claim that Alovatshoyev had bene detained at the request of Tajikistan.  Law enforcement agencies in Tajikistan insisted at the time that they were not aware of Alovatshoyev’s detention in Russia and that he was not among the people sought by Tajik security forces.

However, Alovatshoyev’s disappearance comes as prosecutors have reportedly launched a new probe into the four-day rallies in GBAO capital, Khorog, which killed three people and injured at least 17 others.

The protests in Khorog broke out on November 25 after security forces killed a local man wanted on charges of kidnapping.  The protesters demanded a probe into his death.

On the same day, a group of GBAO natives staged protests in front of the Tajik Embassy in Moscow with the same demands as the demonstrators in Khorog.  Alovatshoyev was at the rally and was one of participants of negotiations between protesters and Tajikistan’s ambassador. 

During a government meeting in Khorog on January 10, one official accused Alovatshoyev of inciting anti-government sentiment among young people in GBAO, “from abroad.”

Supporters of Amriddin Alovatshoyev say Amirddin has never committed illegal acts, and always supported migrants. 

Amriddin Alovatshoyev is considered leader of GBAO youth in the Russian Federation.  

In the mid-2000s, Alovatshoyev was seriously wounded in a conflict with natives of Chechnya and returned to GBAO and become one of informal leaders in GBAO’s Roshtqala district.  

In October 2018, Alovatshoyev and six other so-called informal leaders of the region, including Mamadboqir Mamadboqirov, Tolib Ayombekov, Munavvar Shanbiyev and Khursand Mazorov, reportedly signed a letter pledging not to "set up criminal groups, incite mass unrest and the seizure of government buildings and entities, insult government officials, smuggle weapons and drugs, or undermine the security of the state and society.”

In 2019, Alovatshoyev returned to Russia, where he created a volunteer movement based on community principles and has since been known as a leader of GBAO natives working and studying there.  He reportedly set up a group that promotes healthy living as well as maintaining close ties among the community members.

There has been no indication that Alovatshoev’s group has been involved in politics or anti-government activities.