Publication: Monitor Volume: 3 Issue: 166

The Tajik government yesterday blocked the scheduled arrival in Dushanbe of opposition leaders for the inaugural session of the National Reconciliation Commission. Even as the opposition delegation, headed by chairman Saidabdullo Nuri, was about to take off from Tehran airport aboard a Tajik government plane, Dushanbe demanded that the delegation’s size be reduced, specifically striking off the list the opposition’s first vice-chairman, Akbar Turajonzoda. Dushanbe also ruled out any public speeches by opposition leaders on their arrival, and it announced that the police were "dispersing" crowds that had begun lining up the route from the airport to downtown Dushanbe to greet the opposition leaders. A large crowd of sympathizers outside Dushanbe’s Vahsh hotel was also dispersed. The hotel has been prepared by the government for accommodating the opposition delegation. On September 6 a bomb exploded in the hotel after the government had declared it secure — a claim that the opposition has questioned all along. (Russian news agencies, NTV, September 8)

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