This post is part of our campaign #FreeAlexSodiqov: GV Author Detained in Tajikistan.
Global Voices is thrilled to relay that Alexander Sodiqov, a GV author and the former editor of Global Voices Central Asia, has touched down in Toronto and is ready to continue his life as an academic in Canada. Alex flew into Toronto on Wednesday. He was joined by his wife Musharraf and daughter Erica today.
He will continue his PhD studies at the University of Toronto under the supervision of Dr. Edward Schatz, who, alongside John Heathershaw, was responsible for coordinating the freealexsodiqov campaign.
A message shared by Schatz on Facebook reads as follows:
John Heathershaw and I are ecstatic that Alexander Sodiqov, Musharraf Sodiqova and daughter Erica are now back in Toronto! A formal request was made of the authorities to permit his return, and it was granted. Formally, Alexander remains under investigation, but the fact that the Tajik authorities saw fit to let him travel abroad strongly suggests that they are also convinced of the need to exonerate him. We want to thank the many people and institutions that advocated publicly and worked privately for Alexander’s return to his PhD work at the University of Toronto. As you can imagine, it has been a difficult period for all of them, and one expects that the transition back to life in Toronto will be somewhat disorienting. Please do welcome them back but please also respect their need for privacy.
Arrested on June 16 while carrying out academic research in the politically restive town of Khorog, Tajikistan, Alex was released from captivity by the GKNB (formerly KGB) on July 22. Nevertheless, anxiety over his fate grew when Tajik authorities exercised the option to extend their criminal investigation on August 19, with one Tajik blogger suggesting a struggle within the Tajik government might be holding his case up.
As Schatz's post notes charges have not been formally dropped yet, but it does look like life for Alex, Musharraf and Erica is about to take a turn in favor of normality after a summer of fear and stress.
Below are photos from the July 16 global vigil held in Sodiqov's name: