Tajikistan protests detention and beating of two Tajik teens by Kyrgyz border guards
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A statement released by the Tajik Foreign Ministry on April 28 says that Deputy Foreign Minister Muzaffar Huseinzoda met with Kyrgyz Ambassador Zhanysh Rustenbekov to express his concerns over “the illegal actions of representatives of Kyrgyzstan’s border service against two juvenile citizens of the country in the Kulik area of Vorukh jamoat.”
“The Tajik side has called upon the Kyrgyz side to undertake immediate measures to find out all of the circumstances of the incident, hold all individuals responsible for the situation accountable, and inform the Tajik side about the results," the statement says.
The statement added that Bishkek is ready to cooperate with Dushanbe in efforts to "form conditions in the areas close to the border to secure peace, safety, a friendly neighborhood, and stability."
The statement further adds that “Tajikistan is committed to the consistent development of relations of friendship and neighborhood with Kyrgyzstan in conditions of peace, stability and mutual respect based on traditions and commonality of spiritual and cultural values of the two on the two fraternal peoples.”
Recall, authorities of Vorukh, Tajikistan’s exclave in Kyrgyzstan, say Kyrgyz border guards have abducted and beaten two Tajik teens.
The incident reportedly took place in the afternoon of April 25. “8th grade students O. Ghafourov and I. Saidov were grazing the cow and collecting snowdrops when Kyrgyz border guards kidnapped and beat them,” Ghafourjon Jourayev, the head of Tojikon mahalla in Vorukh jamoat, told Asia-Plus in an interview.
He suggested that the children had been beaten for herding cattle in a disputed territory.
“Although this pasture is of Tajikistan, Kyrgyz border guards consider it a disputed territory. They beat and actually kidnapped the children from Tajik territory,” Jourayev said.
According to him, the Kyrgyz military brought the children back only an hour later, after the intervention of the Tajik border guards.
Mehriniso Rahmatova, the head of Vorukh jamoat, says the incident took place in Tajik territory. “The site of the incident, which is just above Zahmatobod village, is the pasture of Tajikistan, though Kyrgyz border guards consider it the disputed territory,” she told Asia-Plus in a short conversation.
Physicians from Vorukh hospitals say the injuries inflicted on the children are minor, but they are severely intimidated.
Many border areas in Central Asian former Soviet republics have been disputed since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. The situation is particularly complicated near the numerous exclaves in the Ferghana Valley, including Vorukh, Tajikistan’s exclave in Kyrgyzstan.
Vorukh is a jamoat in northern Tajikistan. It is an exclave surrounded by Kyrgyzstan that forms part of the city of Isfara in the Tajik northern Sughd province.
Due to the inherent territorial restrictions of the exclave, violent conflicts over land ownership, access to pasture, and shared water resources have become more common, as logistical complications within this densely populated and impoverished region have also given rise to economic concern.
As it had been reported earlier, Kyrgyz foreign ministry on April 26 summoned Tajikistan Ambassador to Kyrgyzstan Nazirmad Alizoda to hand him a note over abduction of two Kyrgyz nationals at Tajik border.