DUSHANBE, September 26, 2013, Asia-Plus -- Umarali Quvvatov, leader of the Group 24 opposition movement, has reportedly been released from the Dubai detention facility.

“Umarali Quvvatov was released from the Dubai detention facility today,” Nikolai Nikolayev, one of defense lawyers of Quvvatov, told Asia-Plus by phone Thursday afternoon.

According to unofficial data, Quvvatov was offered to get the status of refugee in the Russian Federation or any other CIS nation but he refused.

Nikolayev, however, says Hungary is ready to provide political asylum to Umarali Quvvatov.

Meanwhile, a well-informed source at one of Tajikistan’s law enforcement agencies told Asia-Plus in late August that the issue of extradition of Quvvatov to Tajikistan may be solved within a week.   “We have won all trial proceedings and the Dubai court has rejected an appeal by Quvvatov and his lawyer,” said the source.  “It just remains to solve some technical issues.”

We will recall that a court in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on April 14 authorized the extradition of Umarali Quvvatov to Tajikistan.

The Tajik authorities have insisted on extradition of Umarali Quvvatov.  Tajik Prosecutor-General, Sherkhon Salimzoda, told journalists on January 9 that Tajikistan has sent an official extradition request to the Dubai law enforcement authorities for Umarali Quvvatov.  The Agency for State Financial Control and Combating Corruption has instituted criminal proceedings against Umarali Quvvatov, Tajik chief prosecutor noted.

Umarali Quvvatov was arrested in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) on December 23, 2012 at the request of Tajik authorities.  He is being accused of illegally obtaining about US$1.2 million through fraudulent business activities.

His supporters, however, consider that his arrest might be politically motivated.

Quvvatov reportedly set up the Group 24 opposition movement last summer.  The group has publicly criticized the widespread corruption under the head of state of Tajikistan, President Rahmon. 

The group recently called for President Rahmon’s resignation and questioned the likelihood of the upcoming Presidential elections being democratic and fair.  The group also criticized President Rahmon’s handling of the military conflict in Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Province in summer 2012.

Quvvatov has denounced the fraud case against him and accused Tajik President Emomali Rahmon of running a “totalitarian regime.”  In an open letter smuggled out of the detention center where he is being held, Umarali Quvvatov said the accusations leveled against him were “a direct consequence” of his battle against the “oppression of the Tajik people” by Rahmon''s government.