Old Guns in Tajikistan

Not that Tajikistan’s parliamentary elections on March 1 were going to be all that “fair” the government is making doubly sure by discrediting the only token opposition: the Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan (IRPT or HNIT), which is Central Asia’s only official religious political party.

The IRPT claims that its Facebook page was taken over by hackers in June, which explains the damaging distribution of explicit videos and correspondence on the page. Eurasianet has a great write-up on what’s been happening in that arena. Sex tapes, flirty Facebook chats. It’s got it all.

In addition, this week  Jamoliddin Mahmudov, an IRPT party leader and member of the country’s Central Election Commission, was arrested on charges related to possession of illegal weapons.

From RFE/RL:

In a statement, the security agency said police found two Makarov pistols and ammunition in the home of HNIT member Latif Sardorov in the western Khisor district of Tajikistan.

The statement said Sardorov told investigators that Mahmudov had given him the pistols in 1996 and asked Sardorov to keep them for him.

So nearly 20 years ago, during the civil war which pitted the IRPT and other opposition elements against the central government, Mahmudov gave his friend Sardorov two pistols. The timing for his arrest is mighty convenient.

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