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Tajikistan’s Fallen Hero: Jangibek Shekhburov

You are not Forgotten.

Berlin, Brussels (18/5 – 40)

In the vast and remote mountain lands of Central Asia, the Ismaili Pamiris have long faced systemic discrimination and persecution at the hands of the Tajik government. Despite their proud history, rich cultural traditions, and highly educated populace, they have been targeted for cultural extermination in a chilling campaign of ethnic cleansing. Tajikistan President Imomali Rahmon has demonized them as “inbred” and “criminals” and launched a brutal program to replace their community with ethnic Tajiks. 

In May and June 2022, the government launched a final assault on the Pamiris to end their autonomy and bring them under the total control of the state. Heavily armed security forces rampaged into the town of Vamar, where protestors calling for respect for human rights had peacefully blocked the Pamiri Highway. There and in other towns of the Gorno-Badakhshan region (GBAO), protestors and passers-by were shot dead, maimed, and taken to prisons to be tortured and degraded. 

Jangibek Shekhburov participated in the public protest in Vamar on May 17 and 18. He was a protestor who fled from the security forces along with five friends who hid in a house. There, they were discovered by Tajik security forces, blasted with explosives and dragged out of the house. Four were executed with close shots to the head, and one taken prisoner. According to reports, Jangibek was killed by the security forces.

Jangibek lived in Jangalak village of the Rushan region in GBAO. He was working in Poland for many years and had returned to Rushan to start a family. His wife was pregnant at the time of his passing. His son was born after his death.

He was buried in Derzud cemetery, along with some of the other 21 victims of the Tajik security forces.