DUSHANBE, September 13, 2014, Asia-Plus -- Tajik PhD student Alexander Sodiqov has safely returned to Toronto, Canada, where he will continue his studies.

A statement released by Amnesty International on September 12 says that Alexander Sodiqov flew to Toronto from Dushanbe on September 10.  His wife and daughter joined him on 12 September.

The Tajik authorities reportedly responded positively to a request from Alexander Sodiqov to allow him to return to Canada and continue his university studies.  However, the investigation into the criminal case against Alexander Sodiqov is still ongoing in Tajikistan.

We will recall that Alexander Sodiqov, Tajik researcher contracted by the University of Exeter to help with a scholarly project, was detained in Khorog on June 16 on suspicion of spying for an unnamed country after he met with local civil society activist Alim Sherzamonov.

The SCNS press center announced on June 20 that criminal proceedings have been instituted against Alexander Sodiqov and he was taken into custody on June 19 following ruling handed down by a court in Dushanbe’s Ismoili Somoni district.  Sodiqov was charged with high treason and spying.

Alexander Sodiqov has denied any wrongdoing, saying he had been touring Central Asia as part of his doctoral research at Britain’s University of Exeter and the University of Toronto in Canada.

Sodiqov was released from jail on July 22 after spending 36 days in pretrial detention in Dushanbe.  He was requested not to leave Dushanbe while the investigation into his case continues.