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Tajikistan Summons Russian Ambassador Over Alleged Rights Violations Against Citizens

Russian Ambassador to Tajikistan Semyon Grigoriev. Anton Novoderezhkin / TASS

Tajikistan’s Foreign Ministry has summoned Russia’s ambassador in Dushanbe over alleged rights violations against Tajik citizens in Russia, the state-run news agency TASS reported Monday.

The ministry handed Russian ambassador Semyon Grigoryev an official note of protest “expressing serious concern over the huge number of cases of an emphatically negative attitude toward citizens of the Republic of Tajikistan on the territory of Russia, as well as widespread violation of their rights and freedoms.”

According to TASS, the note added that the rights violations “are applied exclusively against citizens of Tajikistan, which is fundamentally incompatible with the spirit and traditions of Tajik-Russian relations.”

Dushanbe’s note of protest comes more than a month after the Crocus City Hall attack outside of Moscow, which saw a group of armed men with suspected connections to the Islamic State militant group kill 145 people and wound hundreds more.

Russian law enforcement authorities arrested four suspected gunmen — who are reportedly from Tajikistan — on suspicion of carrying out the deadly attack, which has since triggered increased security checks of predominantly Central Asian migrants arriving to and working in Russia.

Dushanbe earlier this month condemned the alleged torture of the four suspected gunmen, who appeared in court in March with visible cuts, bruises and other injuries.

On Friday, Tajikistan’s Foreign Ministry said it had invited Russian ambassador Grigoryev to express concerns about what it said were mass cases of denials of entry to Tajik citizens arriving in Russia.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said at the time that the border checks were temporary and not based on nationality.

It was not immediately clear whether the meeting with Ambassador Grigoryev on Friday and the issuance of Dushanbe’s reported diplomatic note of protest occurred on the same day.

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