Sharofiddin Gadoev has lived as a refugee in Holland since 2015; he was detained on a trip to Moscow and transported to Tajikistan where family members say he has been forced to denounce opposition figures publicly.
A court commuted Mirsaidov’s 12 year jail sentence to payment of a fine and damages; he had been detained for over eight months before his release.
A critic of government corruption, Mirsaidov was handed a 12-year prison sentence on politically motivated charges in July. His appeal starts on 15 August.
Mirsaidov was charged with embezzling and misusing state funds and false reporting to police after he made corruption allegations against local government officials.
Khayrullo Mirsaidov appears to be the latest victim of Tajikistan’s crackdown on critical voices. The government should ensure his rights in detention, including to be free from ill treatment and have access to a lawyer, and should move promptly to secure his release.
The editor of Najot, a newspaper linked to the opposition Islamic Revival Party of Tajikistan (IRPT), Khikmatullo Sayfullozoda was arrested on 16 September 2015, at the same time as the IRPT’s leaders, and was sentenced to 16 years in prison on 2 June 2016.
Germany’s foreign minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, is visiting Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan. He should press for an end to human rights abuses abuses when he meets the presidents and other politicians and speak publicly about specific abuses, including the jailing of activists in all three countries.
The Tajik government is arresting, imprisoning, and torturing members of the country’s peaceful political opposition. Tajikistan’s deteriorating human rights situation worsened dramatically in the last year with the forced closure of Tajikistan’s leading opposition party, the Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan (IRPT) in September 2015.
Sobir Valiev, deputy head of the Congress of Constructive Forces of Tajikistan, a peaceful opposition group, was detained on August 11, 2015, at the request of the Tajik government by Moldovan migration police in the Chisinau airport before boarding a flight to Istanbul.
“We are shocked by the murder of opposition leader Umarali Kuvvatov, which has all the hallmarks of an assassination,” said Susan Corke, director of Eurasia programs. “It sends a chilling message to all who dare criticize Tajikistan’s president, Emomali Rahmon.”
A court in Dushanbe found Shukhrat Kudratov, who is also deputy head of the opposition Social Democratic party, guilty on criminal charges of fraud and bribery. Kudratov is known for taking on politically sensitive cases, including representing victims of police torture and those accused of “religious extremism.”
Sodiqov, a blogger and PhD student in political science at the University of Toronto, was arrested in Tajikistan on June 16 in Khorog while conducting field research on “the causes of conflict and conflict management.”
Aleksandr Sodiqov was released from prison on 22 July 2014. He is now under house arrest and forbidden to leave the country pending the outcome of the government’s investigation.
At the time of his detention, Sodiqov, a Tajik citizen, Ph.D student at the University of Toronto, and a well-known blogger for Global Voices, was visiting the autonomous republic of Gorno-Badakhshan to conduct academic research on conflict resolution under the auspices of the University of Exeter in the U.K.