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Tajikistan’s Fallen Hero: Munavvar Gulomshoev

You are not Forgotten.

Berlin, Brussels (16/5 – 40)

In the vast mountain lands of Central Asia, a small ethnic group located at the crossroads of Afghanistan, China, and Russia is struggling for its very survival in the face of a national program that, some experts argued, is tantamount to ethnic cleansing.  The Pamiris of Tajikistan were granted autonomy by the USSR and reside in Gorno-Badakhshan region known as the GBAO. For years, the Pamiris’ ancient traditions, peaceful religious faith, and highly educated populace, accused by Tajikistan President Imomali Rahmon of being “inbred” and run by “criminals”, have faced a state campaign that replaces the Pamiri society with ethnic Tajiks. This re-engineering of the GBAO climaxed in May and June 2022, when security forces stormed up the Pamiri Highway that leads to China and killed, wounded, arrested, and tortured hundreds of Pamiris who had been protesting the government’s abuse of human rights in GBAO. Munavvar Gulomshoev was one of the victims.

Munavvar was the son of sportsman, Vakhtdavlat Gulomshoev. He was a table tennis coach at the sports school for children and teenagers in the mountainous Rushon district.

Munavvar was arrested by Tajik security forces on May 18, as he was helping transport the injured protesters to the hospital after the government forces massacred over 40 civilians. According to witness reports, he was badly beaten and tortured by the security forces, who then executed him with a shot in the head at close range. His mutilated body and shattered skull was nearly unrecognizable when he was found.

Munavvar was married with a child, and his wife was 8 months pregnant with their second child at the time of his killing.