19 november 2019

Central Asia news

Said Abdullo Nuri, leader of the Islamic Revival Party of Tajikistan, died of cancer in Dushanbe

11.08.2006 09:18 msk

Vladimir Soloviov


The prominent opposition leader died not long before the presidential election scheduled for November 2006. Said Abdullo Nuri was known as one of the most prominent politicians and religious leaders in Tajikistan. The Islamic Revival Party of Tajikistan he was the leader of is the only legitimate Islamic party in Central Asia. Its leader for the last 13 years, Nuri always promoted establishment of an Islamic state on the territory of Tajikistan. As a matter of fact, he spoke his mind even in the USSR. The KGB took note of him in 1973 and Nuri was soon arrested for propaganda of Islam. This was but the first arrest. Many others followed, some on drug-related charges. When the civil war was raging in Tajikistan (1992-1997), Islamic Party of Revival joined the United Tajik Opposition against the People's Front. In June 1997, Nuri and President Emomali Rakhmonov met in Dushanbe and signed the Peace Accord that put an end to the civil war. Nuri became chairman of the National Reconciliation Commission, a structure set up for realization of the Peace Accord. Its mission proclaimed accomplished, the National Reconciliation Commission was disbanded in 2000.

Friction in the meantime continued. In 2000, the Islamic Revival Party of Tajikistan accused the authorities of violation of the Peace Accord. In June 2003, it bitterly protested against the idea of amending the constitution so as to permit Rakhmonov to run for president again. That was essentially when the relations between the Islamic Revival Party and official Dushanbe soured for good. The authorities launched a campaign of prosecution and harassment of popular party activists. Nuri's assistant Shamsuddin Shamsuddinov, number two man in the Islamic Revival Party, was arrested, tried, and sentenced to years behind the bars in October 2003.

The Islamic Revival Party participated in the parliamentary election last year. With only two activists elected into the parliament, the party refused to recognize the outcome of the election and accused the authorities of foul play. Tajikistan will be electing the president come November. Nuri himself did not intend to run for president. Seriously ill and knowing it, he hasn't been particularly active a politician for some years already. The Islamic Revival Party of Tajikistan in the meantime is in trouble with internal strife. One of the factions in it (a pro-Western one) is headed by Muhiddin Kabiri, Nuri's assistant who all but ran the party these last several years. Another faction, pro-Iranian one, is headed by the late leader's son Muhammad.

Kommersant, August 10, 2006, p. 6

© Translated by Ferghana.Ru