Publication: Monitor Volume: 4 Issue: 172

The Supreme Court of Tajikistan began yesterday the trial of four of the leaders of the August 1997 antigovernment rebellion. Staged by hardliners who rejected the government’s incipient accommodation with the opposition, the rebellion enjoyed covert support from neighboring Uzbekistan. Colonel Mahmud Hudoiberdiev and other rebel leaders, with remnants of their forces, fled to Uzbekistan after their defeat and are still believed to enjoy a haven there. Tajikistan has in vain demanded their extradition for trial. The court proceedings in Dushanbe are being conducted in secrecy, apparently for fear that revelations on Uzbekistan’s role might add to existing strains between Dushanbe and Tashkent. Uzbek president Islam Karimov continues to evidence misgivings about the entry of the Islamic opposition in a revamped Tajik government (Itar-Tass, September 20). –VS

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