Tolib Ayombekov

Last updated

Tolib Ayombekov
Толиб Аёмбеков
Ayyombekov Interpol.jpg
Born (1966-07-06) July 6, 1966 (age 57)
Other namesTolibbek Ayyombekov
Political party United Tajik Opposition (1993–1997)

Tolibbek Ayyombekov (Tajiki : Толиббек Айёмбеков, Perso-Arabic script : طالب‌بیک ایام‌بیک‌اف; born 6 July 1966 in Khorog), commonly known as Tolib Ayombekov (Tajiki : Толиб Аёмбеков, Perso-Arabic script : طالب ایام‌بیک‌اف), is an Ismaili Shia Pamiri jailed ex-opposition fighter from Tajikistan, who was involved in the Gorno-Badakhshan clashes in 2012 against the government forces of ruling Tajik president Emomali Rahmon. [1] Until his arrest in June 2022, he was particularly influential in his home Khlebzavod microraion of Khorog. [2]

Ayombekov is the brother of former prominent Tajik opposition commander Abdulamon Ayombekov, [3] and was an opposition fighter during the 1992 to 1997 Tajik Civil War between the United Tajik Opposition and the government led by President Rahmon Nabiyev. Following his brother Abdulamon's assassination in 1994, he became the de facto leader of all opposition militias in Gorno-Badakhshan. [4] As part of subsequent peace deal between the opposing sides, Ayombekov was given a government post as head of the Ishkashim border detachment, and held the rank of lieutenant colonel. [3] However, Ayombekov and many other Tajik informal leaders were gradually driven out. Emomali Rahmon's government has also accused Ayombekov of tobacco smuggling.

After Major-General Abdullo Nazarov, the head of the Tajik intelligence agency "GKNB" in the local semi-autonomous province of Gorno-Badakhshan, was dragged out of his car, [5] [6] and was fatally stabbed in an incident in Ishkoshim, [7] [8] heavy fighting erupted on 24 July 2012 between government forces and militants loyal to Ayombekov in the streets of Khorog. [7] The Western media described the fighting as the worst in Tajikistan since 2010 [9] [10] or the 1992–1997 civil war. [11] Ayombekov denied any responsibility for Nazarov's death. [9] [10] The clashes ended when, on request of Ismaili Imam Karim Agha Khan, he surrendered himself to the Tajik government, in exchange for their withdrawal from Khorog. [12]

In the aftermath of the clashes, Tolib Ayombekov, together with other informal leaders including Muhammadboqir Muhammadboqirov and Yodgorshoh Muhammadaslamov, was entered into ICPO-INTERPOL's database of wanted persons, at the request of the Tajik government. [13] He remained in it until January 2013. [14]

In 2018, following the onsent tensions in Badakhshan, all 7 informal leaders of Badakhshan, including Ayombekov, signed a protocol with the government, agreeing not to interfere in the activities of government agencies. In exchange for their agreement, all legal cases against them were dropped, and they were no longer officially referred to as criminals. Additionally, the government ceased demanding that they turn over all weapons in their possession. Following the signing of the protocol, the informal leaders were invited to meet Emomali Rahmon in Dushanbe. Ayombekov was among those that agreed to the invitation and arrived in Dushanbe. [3]

On 11 June 2022, following the killing of Tajik opposition figures Muhammadboqir Muhammadboqirov, Khursand Mazorov, and Zoir Rajabov, he was detained by Tajik security forces in Khorog, alongside Munavvar Shanbiev and Niyozshoh Gulobov. [15] On 23 November 2022, he and the other co-defendants were given a life sentence. [16] All 3 of his sons, as well as his 3 brothers, were arrested thereafter. [17]

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Tajikistan</span> Landlocked country in Central Asia

Tajikistan, officially the Republic of Tajikistan, is a landlocked country in Central Asia. It has an area of 142,326 km2 (54,952 sq mi) and an estimated population of 9,750,065 people. Dushanbe is the country's capital and largest city. It is bordered by Afghanistan to the south, Uzbekistan to the west, Kyrgyzstan to the north, and China to the east. It is separated narrowly from Pakistan by Afghanistan's Wakhan Corridor. Tajiks form the ethnic majority in the country, and the historical Tajik homeland lies in present-day Tajikistan as well as parts of Afghanistan and Uzbekistan.

The politics of Tajikistan takes place in a framework of a presidential republic, whereby the President is both head of state and head of government, and of a multi-party system. Legislative power is vested in both the executive branch and the two chambers of parliament.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Emomali Rahmon</span> President of Tajikistan (1994–present)

Emomali Rahmon is a Tajik politician who has been serving as 3rd President of Tajikistan since 16 November 1994. Previously he was the Chairman of the Supreme Assembly of Tajikistan, as the de facto head of state from 20 November 1992 to 16 November 1994. Since 18 March 1998, he has also served as the leader of the People's Democratic Party of Tajikistan, which dominates the Parliament of Tajikistan. On 30 September 1999, he was elected vice-president of the UN General Assembly for a one-year term.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Khorog</span> Capital of Gorno-Badakhshan, Tajikistan

Khorog is the capital of Gorno-Badakhshan, Tajikistan. It is also the capital of the Shughnon District of Gorno-Badakhshan. It has a population of 30,500.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Gorno-Badakhshan</span> Autonomous region of Tajikistan

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Tajikistani Civil War</span> Armed conflict

The Tajikistani Civil War, also known as the Tajik Civil War, began in May 1992 and ended in 1997. Regional groups from the Garm and Gorno-Badakhshan regions of Tajikistan rose up against the newly formed government of President Rahmon Nabiyev, which was dominated by people from the Khujand and Kulob regions. The rebel groups were led by a combination of liberal democratic reformers and Islamists, who would later organize under the banner of the United Tajik Opposition. The government was supported by Russian military and border guards.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Pamiris</span> Eastern Iranian ethnic group of the Pamir Mountains

The Pamiris are an Eastern Iranian ethnic group, native to the Badakhshan region of Central Asia, which includes the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region of Tajikistan; the Badakhshan Province of Afghanistan; Taxkorgan Tajik Autonomous County in Xinjiang, China; and the Upper Hunza Valley in Pakistan.

Davlat Khudonazarov is a Tajik filmmaker, politician and human rights activist.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">2012 Gorno-Badakhshan clashes</span>

The Gorno-Badakhshan clashes consisted of fighting between Tajik government forces and an armed group led by Tolib Ayyombekov in Tajikistan's semi-autonomous Gorno-Badakhshan province in late July 2012. The Western media described the fighting as the worst in Tajikistan since 2010 or the 1992–1997 civil war.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Insurgency in Gorno-Badakhshan (2010–2015)</span> 2010-2015 armed conflict in Tajikistan

The insurgency in the Gorno-Badakhshan region in Tajikistan from 2010 to 2015 was an armed conflict between the Tajik Army and Islamist militants, led by numerous leaders from the Tajikistani Civil War. The conflict evolved in 2010 and climaxed in 2012, with the defeat of main rebel forces. Other incidents took place in September 2015, when former deputy defense minister Abduhalim Nazarzoda led an armed uprising, suspected of ties to the Islamic Renaissance Party.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ministry of Internal Affairs (Tajikistan)</span>

The Ministry of Internal Affairs, also called the Ministry of the Interior, abbreviated VKD, is the interior ministry of the government of Tajikistan. It oversees the Presidential National Guard and the Internal Troops. Since 2012, the Minister of Internal Affairs has been Lieutenant General Ramazon Rahimov. He is responsible for youth crime prevention and working to lower youth crime rates in the country. The law "On Police" was adopted on 7 April 2004 by the Supreme Assembly of Tajikistan to define the duties of the interior ministry.

Alim Sherzamonov is a politician in Tajikistan.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Group 24</span> Political party in Tajikistan

Group 24 is a political opposition movement in Tajikistan. It opposes the rule of president Emomali Rahmon, who it accuses of corruption and nepotism.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Rustam Emomali</span> Tajik official

Rustam Emomali is a Tajik politician who is the current Chairman of the National Assembly of Tajikistan, Mayor of Dushanbe and the eldest son of Emomali Rahmon, the long-standing authoritarian leader of Tajikistan. Emomali's father appointed Emomali as the mayor of Dushanbe when he was 29-years-old.

Events in the year 1993 in Tajikistan.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">2020 Tajik presidential election</span>

Presidential elections were held in Tajikistan on 11 October 2020. The result was a fifth straight victory for authoritarian long-term incumbent Emomali Rahmon of the People's Democratic Party, who was re-elected with over 90% of the vote. Rahmon was inaugurated for his fifth term on 30 October. He was sworn in at a ceremony at the Kokhi Somon Palace in Dushanbe.

Yodgor Doyorovich Fayzov is the governor of Tajikistan's southeastern Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region (GBAR). Prior to that he was head of the Aga Khan Foundation office in Tajikistan. Fayzov replaced Shodikhon Jamshed as governor on 1 October 2018, by executive order of Tajik President Emomali Rahmon following civil unrest in the region.

The Popular Front of Tajikistan was a politicized paramilitary movement composed of volunteers that fought for the government during the Tajik Civil War. Up to 8,000 fighters served as part of the front.

Manuchehr Kholiqnazarov, sometimes spelled Manuchehr Kholiknazarov, is a Tajik human rights activist and lawyer from Gorno-Badakhshan, an autonomous region of Tajikistan. His 2022 arrest and conviction following peaceful protests in Khorog led to international condemnation from human rights organisations.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Muhammadboqir Muhammadboqirov</span> Tajik Pamiri opposition fighter (1963–2022)

Muhammadboqir Muhammadboqirov, commonly known as Colonel Boqir, was an Isma'ili Shia Pamiri political figure, at one point associated with the United Tajik Opposition political alliance, from the Barkhorugh microraion of the city of Khorugh in the Badakhshan Mountainous Autonomous Region of Tajikistan. He has been variously described as someone who was either a warlord or popular oppositionist, by his enemies and supporters respectively.


  1. "ОГОҲОНИДАНИ саркардагони гурӯҳҳои муташаккили ҷиноятии шаҳри Хоруғ ва ноҳияҳои Шуғнону Роштқалъа" (PDF). Boju Khiroj. No. 1142. Dushanbe: State Tax Committee of Tajikistan. 8 November 2018. p. 13. 1. Насаб, ном ва номи падар: Аёмбеков Толибек Абдураҳмонович; 2. Санаи таваллуд: 06 июли соли 1966; 3. Ҷои таваллуд: шаҳри Хоруғ.
  2. "В Таджикистане пятерых неформальных лидеров ГБАО приговорили к пожизненному заключению". Ferghana Information Agency (in Russian). 2022-11-23. Retrieved 2023-05-25.
  3. 1 2 3 Nazarov, Shavqat (2018-10-31). "Семь самураев: Рахмону удалось подтвердить свою власть над Памиром" [Seven Samurai: Rahmon managed to confirm his power over the Pamirs]. Ferghana Information Agency (in Russian). Retrieved 2023-05-19.
  4. Sodiqov, Alexander (5 September 2012). "Explaining the Conflict in Eastern Tajikistan". Central Asia-Caucasus Analyst. Retrieved 2023-10-09. At the onset of the war, the Pamiris forged an alliance with the Islamic and Democratic forces, collectively known as the United Tajik Opposition (UTO), which fought against the ex-communist apparatchiks supported by powerful militias from the Kulyab region. As the latter gained control of the country's southern regions and the capital, Pamiri militias retreated to GBAO where high mountains and narrow valleys provided them with a secure defensive barrier. From early 1993 onwards, the commanders of these militias became the dominant political force in the region. They enjoyed broad popular support and came to be regarded as "heroes" because they defended the region from outsiders and used the profits made from the smuggling of gemstones and drugs to supply the local people with imported foodstuffs, thus saving them from starvation. Ayombekov became a de facto leader of these militias after his prominent brother, Abdulamon (aka "Hunchback Alyosh"), was assassinated in 1994. The other three strongmen targeted by the government also achieved prominence during the civil war.
  5. "Deadly fighting erupts in Tajikistan". Al Jazeera. 25 July 2012. Archived from the original on 1 November 2019. Retrieved 25 July 2012.
  6. Roman Kozhevnikov (24 July 2012). "Tajik troops strike ex-warlord after general killed". Reuters. Archived from the original on 5 March 2016. Retrieved 25 July 2012.
  7. 1 2 "Tajikistan clashes: 'Many dead' in Gorno-Badakhshan". BBC News. 24 July 2012. Archived from the original on 18 December 2012. Retrieved 25 July 2012.
  8. "Tajik Officials: About 40 Dead in Fighting Between Troops, Militants". Voice of America. 24 July 2012. Archived from the original on 23 September 2013. Retrieved 25 July 2012.
  9. 1 2 "Tajikistan soldiers killed in operation against former warlord". The Guardian. Associated Press. 24 July 2012. Archived from the original on 3 May 2014. Retrieved 17 December 2016.
  10. 1 2 Olga Tutubalina (24 July 2012). "Tajikistan Army Clashes With Rebels; Dozens Killed". ABC News. Archived from the original on 24 July 2012. Retrieved 25 July 2012.
  11. "Tajikistan: Will Ceasefire End Deadly Conflict in Gorno-Badakhshan?". Eurasianet. 25 July 2012. Archived from the original on 16 December 2017. Retrieved 25 July 2012.
  12. Aioubov, Salimjon (2012-09-19). "Surrendered Tajik Opposition Commander: 'We Don't Want To Fight. We Want Peace.'". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty . Retrieved 2023-05-25.
  13. Tursunzoda, Mehrangez (2012-11-03). "Informal leaders of Gorno Badakhshan wanted via Interpol". Asia-Plus . Retrieved 2023-05-25.
  14. Tursunzoda, Mehrangez (2013-01-17). "Из базы Интерпола исключены четверо неформальных лидеров ГБАО" [Four informal leaders of GBAO removed from Interpol database]. Asia-Plus (in Russian). Retrieved 2023-05-25.
  15. "В Хороге задержаны Толиб Аёмбеков, Мунаввар Шанбиев и Ниёзшо Гулобов. Власти называют их "лидерами ОПГ"". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (in Russian). 2022-06-11. Retrieved 2023-04-28.
  16. Aioubov, Salimjon (2022-11-25). "Tajikistan Hands Down Five Life Sentences Amid Badakhshan Clampdown". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty . Retrieved 2023-05-25.
  17. "Tajik Authorities Detain Another Brother Of Jailed Informal Leader Of Restive Gorno-Badakhshan Region". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty . Retrieved 2023-05-26.