7 Sep 2017 17:49

CSTO recognizes Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan as terrorist organization

DUSHANBE. Sept 7 (Interfax) - The Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan (IRPT), declared a terrorist organization by that country's Supreme Court last year, has been included in the list of organizations recognized as terrorist and extremist in member-states of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), the CSTO press service reported in a statement on Thursday.

The report says that the decision on the inclusion of IRPT in the list of terrorist organizations was agreed upon at a session of the CSTO Committee of Security Council Secretaries in Yerevan on June 8, 2016.

"At the session, the sides agreed on a common list of organizations recognized as terrorist and extremist in CSTO member-states. The Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan was included in the list along with such international organizations banned in Russia as Al-Qaeda, ISIS and the Muslim Brotherhood," the statement said.

It said that the list will help coordinate efforts to identify and stop their operations in the zone of CSTO responsibility.

IRPT was founded in 1990 in Tajikistan. Until 2015, it was the only Islamic party officially operating in Central Asia and the former Soviet Union.

During the 1992-1997 civil war in Tajikistan, the party was part of the United Tajik Opposition opposing the Popular Front that supported incumbent president Emomali Rahmon.

In parliamentary elections in 2005 and 2010 it won two seats. In 2015 it failed to clear the 5% barrier, collecting only 1.5% of the vote.

At the end of September last year, the Prosecutor General's Office of Tajikistan accused IRPT of involvement in an attempted mutiny led by former deputy defense minister Abduhalim Nazarzoda. Members of the party's Political Council were detained and sentenced to long prison terms.

The Supreme Court of Tajikistan satisfied Prosecutor General Yusuf Rahmon's lawsuit seeking to declare IRPT a terrorist organization and ban its operations in Tajikistan.

Tajikistan has banned the publication of the Najot newspaper and other party publications, dissemination of its video and audio materials, literature and leaflets and blocked the party website. No materials concerning the party's operations are allowed to be brought into the country.