Tajik ex-IS member warns young audiences

Staff Report

KHATLON PROVINCE, Tajikistan -- A Tajik former member of the "Islamic State" (IS) is regularly lecturing young audiences about the error of his ways, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL)'s Tajik service reported Friday (May 5).

Parviz Kosimov of Khatlon Province became famous in Tajikistan two years ago as a repentant ex-militant. He speaks about the horrors of war and about the citizens of various countries who have been duped into joining the insurgency and now regret their choice.

Kosimov fought nine months in Syria before returning to Tajikistan in 2015, where he was pardoned after voluntarily surrendering to authorities.

"In Syria, I never saw anything that [IS] promised," he said to an audience in Sarvati Istiklol municipality, Khatlon Province, last week. "I became a witness to cruel and inhuman scenes."

At the same event, a Tajik State National Security Committee (GKNB) official told the audience that 92 residents of Bokhtar District had joined IS and that 17 of them had been killed.

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