I read the analytical material of the political scientist, Director of the Institute of Philosophy, Political Science and Law of the Academy of Sciences of Tajikistan Nazar Mumin, which was published on November 29 on the Centrasia.org website under the title “Tajikistan should appeal to the UN International Court of Justice”, after which I thought hard.
The article’s author writes about the unrest, the detention and execution of their participants in Iran, as well as the claims of the Iranian authorities against the US, about their threat to appeal to an international court of justice, and in this context, the criminal activities of the terrorist and extremist organization Islamic Renaissance Party (TEO IRP) are mentioned. N. Mumin is convinced that all these crimes were committed with the direct support of Iranian special services, but the Tajik authorities showed restraint and preferred silence. Although for a long time it was necessary to appeal to the International Court of Justice.
I thought deeply and became convinced that the proposal of N. Mumin was absolutely correct. Indeed, hundreds of volumes of criminal cases are stored in the archives of the Supreme Court, which prove the guilt of the TEO IRP and the involvement of Iranian special services in their commission. Dozens of terrorist acts against military personnel, adherents of other religions, foreign citizens and local residents were planned by Iranian special services and implemented by renaissance terrorists. It was precisely taking into account this irrefutable evidence that on September 29, 2015, the Supreme Court of Tajikistan declared the IRP as a terrorist and extremist organization, as well as banned its activity in Tajikistan.
At that moment, the relevant bodies of Tajikistan were to be left without a hitch about the delicacy of friendly and diplomatic relations and appeal to an international court of justice. They probably would have completely refused support for the TEO IRP, and would not have spent so much money in order to show the innocence of this terrorist organization. Moreover, they would not build illusions about the establishment of an Islamic system in secular Tajikistan.
I am not a political scientist. I do not want to talk about the political aspects of this controversial issue. But as a person who knows all the details of the events of that time, who worked in those terrible years in law enforcement agencies and witnessed all these phenomena, I can present dozens of arguments and facts stored in my archive that became known to me during the performance of official duties, investigation criminal cases related to terrorist acts. I am ready to stand as a witness next to such a fearless and courageous man as Mumin Nazar at the International Court of Justice.
It is well known that after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the great powers began a new division of the world in order to seize small countries. During this period, our intelligentsia loudly examined the issue of national identity and raising the status of the Tajik language. This moment turned out to be more opportune than ever for Iran, which has always sought to show itself as a regional leader, and, using the slogan “One language – unanimity”, penetrated into our Homeland.
On the one hand, representatives of our intelligentsia were taken to Iran, on the other hand, the clergy, especially the leaders of the newly created IRP, were influenced by the so-called ideology of the Islamic Revolution. Gradually, the issue of culture and language began to fade into the background, talking more and more loudly about religion and faith, in relation to the construction of an Islamic state. The squares were crowded with beards and robes. Such “figures” as Eshon Kiyomiddin and Mullo Abdughaffor put forward Iranian slogans, and misguided youth followed them. Then came the moment of separation of squares and fratricidal war. All this happened in the eyes of people.
After the well-known events of that time, the IRP’s leaders and their families found refuge in Tehran. None of the key representatives of this organization remained on the street. All the hardships were borne by refugees who began to live with family members in unheated tents and dirty dugouts in Afghanistan.
As my colleagues and I learned during the investigation of criminal cases and the interrogation of criminals, it was during this period that the leaders and propagandists of the IRP began to work on propagating extremist ideology among illiterate and weak-willed youth, after which some of them were sent for training to the various dubious educational centers, including to Iran.
At the same time, on the same days, another group led by an employee of the Iranian Embassy in Tajikistan Ali Rizo Chehraolam (1961 birth year, a native of Shiraz, Iran) selected young Tajik guys, recruited them and sent them to Iran on the pretext of training.
Everything that I write about, I know firsthand. I personally participated from beginning to end in the investigation of crimes of a terrorist nature. As they say, a living witness.
This is the truth that I became aware of during the development and investigation of criminal cases related to terrorist acts. As it was established during the disclosure and interrogation of persons involved in the murders of well-known journalists Muhidin Olimpur and Otakhon Latifi, lawyer Safarali Kenjaev, chairman of the Proletar (now Jabbor Rasulov) district S. Begijonov, correspondent Russian ORT V. Nikulin, journalists Khushbakht Haidarsho, Davlatali Rahmonali, Russian military personnel, the head of the religious movement “Bahovia” Abdullo Mukarrabi (a native of Iran and a citizen of Great Britain), to the explosion of the Christian center “Sonmin”, as well as the testimonies of the detainees, all members of the terrorist groups underwent military training in the Iranian cities of Kum, Mashhad, Ardabil, Karaj and Mazenderan province.
Renaissance fighters were trained in three periods (1993 – 1994, 1994 – 1996, 1996 – 1998, in each period from 80 to 100 people) as propagandists, installers, observers, manufacturers of explosives, and killers. Particular attention was paid to the training of recruiters. They were selected according to their ability to speak softly and penetratingly under Islamic slogans, using tactical cunning, and taught how to recruit lost Muslims. Before sending them to terrorist centers, they assigned them pseudonyms, handed false documents so that they did not have information about each other. Then they were divided into several links, one was appointed headman and through him they controlled the link, set tasks for them. At the end of the sabotage training period, they were sent to Tajikistan to carry out the planned operation. Depending on the length of the route, they were handed them from 800 to 2,000 US dollars.
As I have already noted, during the investigation of each criminal case, we received new data on sabotage and terrorist groups that made up the links of one chain. Thus, we uncovered and detained several links, including under the leadership of A. H. Nazirov nicknamed Shokir, M.R. Atovulloev nicknamed Nusrat, M.S. Olimov nicknamed Muhsin, N.M. Toshov nicknamed Sajjod, M.N. Norkalaev nicknamed Khurshed, Y. Niyozboqiev nicknamed Aliakbar, A.N. Rustamov nicknamed Murtazo, Z. Kh. Tolibov nicknamed Firuz, S.Sh. Manonov nicknamed Asadullo, F.I. Komilov nicknamed Fattoh and others.
It is possible that among them were people who escaped punishment to this day, but no crime will go unpunished. Just as many years later, those involved in the killing of Safarali Kenjaev and Russian servicemen were detained. Of these criminal groups, we detained and prosecuted more than 10 people for committing grave and especially grave crimes. 21 people were sentenced to long imprisonment for treason.
During the development and investigation of cases, other facts were also revealed. After the signing of the Peace Agreement and the creation of the 25th battalion in the structure of the Ministry of Defense, the commander of which was appointed Abduhalim Nazarzoda, most of the members of the links were integrated into the ranks of the military. According to the testimonies of the detainees, Kh. Kholikov, T. Mirov, A. Zoirov and others, some of them returned from Russia to Tajikistan on the call of A. Nazarzoda and was integrated into this military unit.
Also, according to the testimonies of Sh. Manonov, M. Olimov, N. Rustamov and M. Atovulloev, Nazarzoda himself and links managers met regularly in special rooms of the Iranian cultural center in Tajikistan or in rented apartments that were used as safe houses from Ali Rizo Chehraolam, his colleagues Abbos Karimi (1990 birth year, a native of Tehran) and Ozimi, where the above persons gave instructions and special tasks to eliminate the right people.
I deliberately do not name the addresses of these apartments, because today people live in them who are completely not involved in these events.
According to the testimony of the above-mentioned persons, an employee of the Iranian Embassy Ali Rizo Chekhraolam later handed to Abduhalim Nazarzoda a special means of communication through which they communicated.
It is clear that the insight of the terrorists, which consisted entirely of Tajik guys, would not be enough to choose the goal of terror. The surname, name, address, driving route, license plate numbers, special signs were given to Ali Rizo Chehraolam and his colleagues. The future victim was accused of “apostasy” and “heresy against Islam.” Of course, every kill had a price. The terrorist sometimes had no idea what merit this person had before the Homeland and the nation.
According to one criminal case, the leaders and activists of the IRP in order to promote the hostile goals of the Iranian special services and reduce the prestige of Tajikistan’s state policy in the international arena, as well as destabilize the socio-political situation in Tajikistan, provoke a national conflict and forced flight of representatives of other nationalities, including the number of the Russian-speaking population, resorted to the killings of servicemen of Russian nationality. Including:
On October 27, 1994, on the territory of the Central Asian technical school in Chkalovsk (now Buston) city, an armed group of Yoqub Niyozbokiev (nicknamed Aliakbar) killed the military personnel of military unit No. 28095 of the Tajik Ministry of Defense Captain I. Bobokhonov and senior lieutenant A. Sadriddinov. This group included Naim Toshev (nicknamed “Sajjod”), Said Sharipov (nicknamed “Sattor”), Ghaybullo Fayziev (nicknamed “Rauf”), and Jamil Komilov (nicknamed “Said”). On May 10, 1995, this group near the apartment 33 of house 25 of the Khujand’s 13th microdistrict killed citizen Isoev Kazbek Maksimovich and his wife N. Davlatova. The murder of a Russian soldier A. M. Pivnov, his wife Arkhipova and citizen Sergienko on May 17, 1995 in Khujand, 18 microdistrict, house 18, apartment 3 (after the shot, the killers separated head from body and laid it on a table) also belonged to this group. Additionally, on the same night, members of this group broke into the house of the officer of the military commissariat of the Leninabad (now Sughd) region K. Isaev (Russian-speaking), located in Khujand, 13 microdistrict, house 25, apt. 33, they shot him and his wife N. Davlatova (Russian-speaking) by the Makarov pistol with particular cruelty in sight of their minor children – 9-year-old Isaev Daler and 7-year-old Isaev Georgiy. Most of the detainees testified against Y. Niyozboqiev as the organizer and Ali Rizo Chehraolam as the customer.
The murders of Colonel of the Russian Ministry of Defense Yu.V. Shipkina on June 1, 1994, on 6/1 Ghafurov Street, servicemen S.E. Khristoforov, A. Zakharov, F. Klenova and Anishchuk on June 2, 1994, on Mayakovsky Street, house 2, apartment 32, were committed by Saymuhriddin Qudratov (known as Zaynalobiddin ) and his three accomplices.
On August 5, 1994, this group exploded in a fuel depot of the military unit 2445 of the Russian Border Troops. According to the ballistic examination of the cartridges found at the scene, all these crimes, including the murder of Tajik Television Director Davlatali Rahmonali on July 18, 1994, and a soldier of the Tajik Ministry of Defense M. Nazarov (on July 2, 1995) were committed with the same firearm. The detainees testified against Y. Niyozboqiev as the organizer and Ali Rizo Chekhraolam as the customer.
During the investigation of the aforementioned crimes, as well as the criminal cases of the murder of patriotic journalists Khushbakht Haidarsho, Muhiddin Olimpur, ORT TV correspondent V. Nikulin, we to some extent became aware of the ways and methods of carrying out terrorist acts.
As our colleagues found in the process of disclosing and investigating crimes related to terrorist acts against honored people, such as Muhammad Osimi, Minkhoj Ghulomov, Yusuf Ishoqi, Safarali Kenjaev, Karim Yuldoshev, Saif Rahim Afardi and other personalities of the Tajik nation, all these crimes are similar to each other, which proves that the killers came from these Iranian training centers.
In order to confirm my words, I will give a few specific examples, indicating irrefutable evidence:
At the end of 1996, a member of the IRP criminal community under the leadership of Pirakov Dilovar Shohovich, 1969 birth year, a resident of the Panj district of Khatlon region, received an order from A. Nazarzoda to commit a terrorist act against a Russian soldier in the country.
D.Sh. Pirakov together with Abdulloev Abdulqodir Gurezovich and other members of the group, in September-October 1996, they tracked and studied the routes of vehicles of military personnel of military unit 2421 of the Russian Border Troops in Tajikistan.
On November 22, 1996, at about 17:50 hours, a convoy of vehicles consisting of a PAZ-672 bus (state number 22-31 ХА), with officers of the indicated military unit and two Zil 131 vehicles, moved from Mayakovsky Street to Lomonosov street of Dushanbe. At that moment, members of the armed group threw a grenade toward the convoy and simultaneously opened fire from Kalashnikov and a grenade launcher. As a result, the bus driver V.P. Snezhkov died, and the serviceman O.M. Muhamadjonov was seriously injured.
In early March 1996, Yunusov Nozim Yusupovich (his criminal nickname “Eshoni Nozim”) brought the order of the IRP’s leadership to the members of his criminal group – K. Tohirov, M.M. Hamidov, N.B. Davlatov and H.T. Shoev.
The content of the order was that in order to reduce the prestige of Tajikistan in the international arena, it is necessary to kill as many foreign citizens as possible. This will lead to the fact that Tajikistan will be presented as an unstable country that foreign states will not support.
To this end, Y. Yunusov and members of the criminal community committed a criminal conspiracy to kill Viktor Mikhailovich Nikulin, special correspondent of the Russian Public TV (ORT) in Tajikistan. During March 1996, they established a mode of operation and other circumstances related to the activities of V. Nikulin.
On March 28, 1996, members of the criminal group arrived in a VAZ-2101 car, license plate P 00-16 DB, at V.M. Nikulin’s office, located at 72/1 I. Somoni Street, inside the ORT TV in Dushanbe and using a Makarov pistol, they committed the murder of V. Nikulin.
These groups received assignments from the Iranian special services and the IRP’s leadership to carry out terrorist activities aimed at destroying the intellectual potential of the Tajik nation and creating an expanded base for the spread of extremist ideas.
In particular, teachers, government officials, scientists, poets, journalists, celebrities and the Tajik intelligentsia as a whole, which condemns radical ideas and seeks to advance modern society, should have been destroyed.
In July 1996, on the instruction of the IRP’s leadership and Iranian special services, one of the leaders of the subgroups of the criminal community of the TEO IRP Nuraliev Elmurod Hojievich (born 1973, a resident of Dushanbe, 86 Shapkina St., apt. 15) met with a member of his group Saidov Amrullo Rahmatulloevich (born 1975, a resident of Rudaki district, Rohati village), on Dushanbe Avenue near the Pedagogical Institute, where they began to plan a terrorist act against a prominent public figure, a famous scientist, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Tajik Assembly and the Persian-speaking world “Payvand” academician Muhammadjon Osimi. On July 29, 1996, at approximately 08.40 hours in the corridor of secondary school No. 7 of Dushanbe, this group killed M. Osimi with a Makarov pistol. E.Kh. Nuraliev and A.R. Saidov during the operation of the Tajik power structures in Rohati village of Rudaki district for the detention of a terrorist group led by Mansur Muakkalov, offered armed resistance, as a result of which were killed.
According to the testimony of the accused Abdulloev Abdulqodir Gurezovich, 1967 birth year, a resident of Norak city, another IRP’s armed group on the instruction of Pirakov Dilovar Kholovich, 1969 birth year, a native of the Panj district of Khatlon region, was involved in the murder of Professor Ishoqi Yusuf Bashirkhanov (Rektor of the Tajik Medical University named after A.Sino) and a professor of this university Gulomov Minhoj Ghulomovich by the IRP’s leadership and representatives of the Iranian special services.
While using the AK-74, on May 6, 1996, Sh.D. Pirakov and his accomplices killed Yu. Ishoqi, M. Ghulomov and their driver Viktor Khudyakov near the Tajik Medical University.
Members of the IRP’s organized criminal group Abdulloev Abdukodir Gurezovich, Ashrafov Tagoymurod Sirojovich, 1970 birth year, resident of the Nurobod district, the Sicharogh vilage, Kuzov Mirzorahim Karimovich, 1965 birth year, a resident of Dushanbe, B. Ghafurov settlement, house 6 and 10 at the beginning of 1998, on the instruction of A. Nazarzoda, gathered at the place of residence of Pirakov Dilovar Shohovich. The group was instructed by the IRP’s leadership to kill the deputy of the Majlisi Oli (Parliament) of the Republic of Tajikistan Safarali Kenjaev.
The aforementioned persons developed a plan of murder and from the beginning of 1998 to March 1999 examined the place of residence, work and other places of stay of S. Kenjaev and looked for an appropriate time for his murder.
To this end, A. Nazarzoda gave to D.Sh. Pirakov AK-47, A.G. series 3274 and Makarov pistols, which he illegally stored in his house.
On March 30, 1999, at about 5.30 pm, S. Kenjaev along with security guards Komilov Jurabek Hotamovich and Asliddinov Salomiddin Bahriddinovich in an official car, VAZ 3102, license plate 109 RT under the control of the driver Kholov Abduroziq Kholikovich arrived at Dushanbe city, B. Gafurov Street, h. 32.
After S. Kenjaev and his guards came up to the entrance of the building, the group, previously ambushing on the second floor, opened fire on Kenjaev and his guards. As a result, Kenjaev, Komilov and Nasriddinov received multiple injuries and died at the scene.
In December 1995, citizen Yunusov Nozim Yusupovich (criminal nickname “Eshoni Nozim”) was given the task of killing the head of the Persian department of the BBC Broadcasting Corporation in Tajikistan, the famous journalist and photographer Muhiddin Olimpur.
In those days, it was easy to hang on the bodies the murder of M. Olimpur, who worked in a foreign news agency. The developers and executors of this terrorist act did not expect the investigating authorities to unwind this tangle so quickly.
During the investigation of the crime, it was found that on the instruction of N.Yu. Yunusov members of his criminal group Tohirov Ahtam Kabirovich, Hamidov Murtazo Muhammadievich, Sharipov Nasrullo Narzulloevich and Davlatov Nazribek Begnazarovich studied the place of residence and work, routes and directions of movement of M. Olimpur. On December 12, 1995, at about 17-17:30 M. Olimpur at the stop “Market Barakat” was waiting for transport. At that moment, members of the group in a VAZ-2101 car, license plate P 00-16 DB, put M. Olimpur in car as a passenger and headed towards the building of Tajik State University. On the way, N.N. Sharipov, who was sitting next to M. Olimpur, shot him in the face and chest, as a result of which the latter died. Then they threw the corpse of a journalist near the Dushanbe River and disappeared.
The purpose of these killings was one: to strike at the intellectual potential of the nation, to frighten the intelligentsia, to arouse feelings of mistrust and discontent among residents, in this way to show the failure of the country’s law enforcement agencies to ensure public safety, along with this, to sow disunity, to aggravate the conflict between local residents, regions and provinces of Tajikistan.
Everything that I have noted here concerns only crimes and events, in the investigation and disclosure of which I was directly involved. On the other hand, all this is reflected in criminal cases with proven facts, time, place and method of carrying out terrorist acts. Expert opinions, ballistic examinations fully ensure the inability to refute the proven facts. If someone deliberately refutes this evidence, then please, all these criminal cases with specific, accurate facts, protocols involving witnesses are stored in the archives of the courts. On the contrary, one who questions all of this evidence cannot give a single weighty argument.
Unfortunately, after the investigation of all these terrorist acts, not a word was said about the involvement of Iranian special services in these crimes. As we said, the reason is ethics and the delicacy of diplomatic etiquette. At all levels of bilateral relations, we informed our Iranian colleagues that we all know about their actions. However, as the process of further events showed, including the events that occurred in September 2015, they did not abandon their intentions. Moreover, some representatives of the Iranian official circles defended the IRP and considered it unreasonable to declare it a terrorist organization and prohibit its activity by the Supreme Court of Tajikistan. They still say that “the Republic of Tajikistan has no evidence of the criminal activity of the IRPT” or “Despite the accusation of the Tajik side against IRPT, except Tajikistan, no state has recognized this organization as terrorist.”
Meanwhile, the states that are members of the SCO regional anti-terrorist organization and the Collective Security Treaty Organization have recognized IRP as a terrorist and extremist organization.
Information on TEO IRP along with ISIS, Al-Qaida, the Taliban and others is included under No. 79 in the Unified Register of Terrorist and Extremist Organizations which activities are prohibited in the SCO member states (Kazakhstan, China, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, India and Pakistan), with a population of 3.3 billion, that is, almost half of the world’s population (out of about 7.6 billion).
In my opinion, the member states of these organizations should also not be neutral and condemn the Iranian position regarding its support for terrorist organizations, especially the TEO. Moreover, the entire public of the country must vote to file a lawsuit against Iran in the UN international court of justice, which is responsible for the murder of dozens of famous personalities of the Tajik people.
Because Iran has not yet abandoned from its intentions. Unfortunately, the organizations and persons involved in the mentioned terrorist acts, as before, are next to it. From news agencies it became clear to me that since the attempted military coup by the TEO IRP in September 2015 was unsuccessful, the Iranian special services turned to their previous experiences. In the training camps of this country, the combat training of the members of the TEO IRP is still ongoing. Former IRP creators Said Kiyomiddin Ghozi and Ayyomiddin Sattorov told its details in the documentary “Invisible Roots” and “Return from Hell” with sufficient evidence, I think it makes no sense to repeat them.
In other words, they want to repeat all their deeds, which they have repeatedly used against the Tajik people. Although they know that we are well aware of all their deeds. But I am surprised at another: in the name of what are all these atrocities against Tajikistan and the Tajik people?
Retired Colonel of the Tajik MIA
Retired Colonel of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Tajikistan Qurbonali Nazarov served in the structure of internal affairs bodies from 1971 through 2006. In 1974 he graduated from the Technical and Fire-fighting School of the USSR Ministry of Internal Affairs in Sverdlovsk and in 1987 – the Higher School of the USSR Ministry of Internal Affairs in Tashkent, specializing in law, has a diploma with honors. He worked his way up from an operative to the head of the Criminal Investigation Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Tajikistan. For conscientious service to the Homeland and the people he was awarded over 10 orders and medals.