The parents of five young men from the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region, or GBAO, told Radio Liberty’s Tajik Service on June 23 that their sons did not arrive at the airport in the city of Kulob, where they were expected to arrive from Moscow on June 20 after Russian authorities deported them for unspecified reasons.

It remains unclear if the men were deported for violating Russia's migration regulations, or at the request of the Tajik authorities.

Relatives told RFE/RL’s Tajik Service that the men called their parents, who are from the community of Yazgulom in GBAO’s Vanj district, asking them to meet them at the Kulob airport on June 20.  However, the men were not among the passengers who disembarked from the plane on that day.

The parents reportedly said they travelled 300 kilometers to reach Kulob to meet their sons after a Tajik official promised them by phone that they would be able to meet their sons at the airport.

Sources close to Tajik law enforcement authorities have told RFE/RL’s Tajik Service that since May at least 15 residents of Yazgulom community had been extradited from Russia to Tajikistan, where they were charged with “membership in an extremist organization” or “having links with members of an extremist organization.”

There has been no official statement regarding the situation.

On May 16, Tajik security forces reportedly arrested more than 30 residents of Yazgulom jamoat (village community), accusing them of plotting unspecified sabotage.

Sources told RFE/RL’s Tajik Service at the time that those arrested were suspected of having links with “extremist groups” in neighboring Afghanistan.