The Tajik Prosecutor-General's Office, for the first time, confirmed on February 16 that opposition activist Bilol Qurbonaliyev was arrested after Germany deported him in November, Radio Liberty’s Tajik Service says.

Qurbonaliyev's relatives have reportedly said that a member of the banned Group 24 opposition organization was being held at a detention facility of the State Committee for National Security (SCNS), but Tajik authorities had not commented.

Qurbonaliyev was among the Tajik protesters who threw eggs at President Emomali Rahmon’s car during his visit to Berlin in September last year.  

Group 24 reportedly expressed concern that Qurbonaliyev will face torture in Tajikistan.

Recall, Qurbonaliyev’s relatives told Radio Liberty’s Tajik Service on December 22 that he has been arrested in Dushanbe.

His mother, Khursandoy Ghulomova told Radio Liberty’s Tajik Service on December 22 that Bilol Qurbonaliyev is being held at a SCNS-run detention facility.

According to her, Bilol’s farther took him food to the detention facility on December 20 and the guard took food from him.

Tajikistan’s Supreme Court banned Tajikistan’s opposition organization Group 24 on October 9, 2014 following growing government pressure on the opposition group after it used the Internet to call for street protests in Dushanbe on October 10, 2014.

Supreme Court ruled that Group 24 is an extremist organization, and therefore, it is banned in Tajikistan.  Its website and printed materials were also banned.

In February 2019, former members of the opposition movement Group 24, who returned to Tajikistan, asked the Tajik authorities to remove the organization from the extremist organizations list.  They said the organization does not pose threat to Tajikistan’s security anymore.

Dozens of opposition figures, independent journalists, and rights activists have been handed lengthy prison terms on extremism and other charges in Tajikistan in recent years.