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HomeAsiaTajikistan’s Fallen Hero: Shogunbek Nazriev

Tajikistan’s Fallen Hero: Shogunbek Nazriev

You are not Forgotten.

Berlin, Brussels (15/5 – 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. Shogunbek Nazriev was one of the innocent victims that was killed.

Shogunbek was from Sangovak neighborhood. On 18 May 2022, he was on his way to Pichov neighborhood to visit his friend when the violent crackdown started. According to his son, there were shootings and Shogunbek was shot in both legs. Blood was gushing out of his wounds and he was unable to walk. He struggled and was able to reach the nearest house, where the owners of the house bandaged his wounds but were unable to stop the bleeding. They called an ambulance, however the security forces did not let the ambulance pass. Shogunbek died of profuse bleeding. 

Shogunbek Nazriev did not participate in the protest demonstrations. According to his relatives, he was not carrying any weapons on the day of his death and was a man who would not lift a knife to kill a chicken. However, he was declared and announced a “terrorist” on the Central Television the next day.

Shogunbek passed away at the age of 55 and was buried in the town cemetery, along with some of the other 21 Derzud victims of the Tajik security forces.


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