Tajikistan’s Fallen Hero: Ekhson Muzrobov

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You are not Forgotten.


Berlin, Brussels (18/5 – 40)

In the vast and remote mountain lands of Central Asia, the Ismaili Pamiris have long faced systemic discrimination and persecution at the hands of the Tajik government. Despite their proud history, rich cultural traditions, and highly educated populace, they have been targeted for cultural extermination in a chilling campaign of ethnic cleansing. Tajikistan President Imomali Rahmon has demonized them as “inbred” and “criminals” and launched a brutal program to replace their community with ethnic Tajiks. In May and June 2022, the government launched a final assault on the Pamiris to end their autonomy and bring them under the total control of the state. Heavily armed security forces rampaged into the town of Vamar, where protestors calling for respect for human rights had peacefully blocked the Pamiri Highway. There and in other towns of the Gorno-Badakhshan region (GBAO), protestors and passers-by were shot dead, maimed, and taken to prisons to be tortured and degraded. Ekhson Muzrobov was one of the innocent victims that was killed.

Ekhson was a wrestler and a sportsman. His father was a migrant worker in Russia. His relatives said that he was very good and well-known as one of the best wrestlers in the district in national wrestling, judo and sambo. His lifelong dream was to continue studying at the Institute of Physical Education. His ambition was to teach the sport to children and teenagers and guide them to a healthy lifestyle.

On May 18, security forces went around town to round up the protesters. According to witnesses, Ekhson was captured together with his friend, Ardasher Munosibov during the crackdown and both were brought back to the base and tortured. His corpse was naked when found, with traces of brutal torture.

Ekhson passed away at the age of 25 and was buried in the town cemetery, along with some of the other 21 Derzud victims of the Tajik security forces. His family was forbidden by a law promulgated by President Rahmon forbidding grave markers for “terrorists” and so his grave remains nameless.

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