On November 8, violence broke out at a maximum-security prison in Tajikistan’s northern Sughd region resulting in the deaths of dozens of prisoners. Dr. Edward Lemon, the Kennan Institute Fellow at Daniel Morgan Graduate School (DMGS), appeared on the Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) Majlis Podcast, the leafing podcast covering current events in Central Asia, on November 11 to discuss the recent violence at the prison and assess the possible role of the Islamic State militant group and Tajik authorities in causing the riot.
A DMGS-Kennan Institute Fellow at the Daniel Morgan Graduate School, Dr. Lemon brings with him knowledge of authoritarian governance, religion, security, and migration in Eurasia. RFE/RL’s Media Relations Manager Muhammad Tahir moderated the discussion, which featured the following additional participants in the discussion:
- Helene Thibault, a political-science lecturer at Nazarbaev University in Kazakhstan, who previously conducted extensive fieldwork in Tajikistan.
- Irna Hofman, a rural sociologist at Lieden University in the Netherlands, who has also conducted fieldwork in Tajikistan.
- Edward Lemon, a fellow at the Daniel Morgan Graduate School of National Security in Washington D.C.
- Tohir Safarov from RFE/RL’s Tajik Service.
Speaking to the uncertainty regarding the violence that erupted at the Khujand prison, Dr. Lemon says, “The government is not being very forthcoming with information, and obviously all we can do at this point is theorize as to precisely what happened in that short space of time. If the information is correct, that some of the guards were shot, then obviously that would indicate that at least some of the prisoners managed to obtain weapons from the prison guards. Obviously, there is a great disparity in the casualty numbers . . . So, clearly, maybe some of the prisoners had guns, but it would seem that it was a relatively one-sided fight.”
Like all our faculty, Dr. Lemon’s expertise benefits our students by allowing them to hear insight from an active practitioner, who remains on top of the latest developments in the subjects he teaches. Our program chairs, professors, and adjunct faculty have extensive and successful backgrounds in national security. DMGS provides unique academic training that helps students to understand international security challenges from regions across the globe.
Edward Lemon, Ph.D. is the DMGS-Kennan Institute Fellow at the Daniel Morgan Graduate School.
Between September 2016 and August 2018, Dr. Lemon was a Mellon Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow at the Harriman Institute at Columbia University. He gained his PhD in international studies from the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom in 2016.