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Urgent Interventions

Sentencing of journalist Khayrullo Mirsaidov to 12 years in high-security penal colony

TJK 001 / 0718 / OBS 094

Sentencing /

Arbitrary detention


July 16, 2018

The Observatory for the Protection ofHuman Rights Defenders, a partnership of FIDH and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), requests yoururgent intervention in the following situation in Tajikistan.

Description of the situation:

The Observatory has been informed by reliable sourcesabout the arbitrary detention and sentencing of Mr. Khayrullo Mirsaidov, a journalist covering issues related to humanrights, the environment and national minorities. Prior to his arrest he hadreported about the corruption of local authorities in Tajikistan.

According to the information received, on July 11,2018, Mr. Khayrullo Mirsaidov was sentenced to 12 years in high-security penalcolony. The Court of Khujand found Mr. Khayrullo Mirsaidov guilty of“embezzlement of public funds” (Article 245.4 of the Criminal Code ofTajikistan), “forgery of documents” (Article 340.1) and “dissemination of falseinformation” (Article 346.2). Mr. Khayrullo Mirsaidov will appeal the sentence.

On December 5, 2017, Mr. Khayrullo Mirsaidov wassummoned to the Prosecution Office of Sgod Province, where he was immediatelyarrested. Criminal charges were filed against him on December 8, 2017,allegedly on the basis of four articles and a public letter he had publishedand in which he reported on the newly appointed head of the Sogd Province’sDepartment of Youth and Sports, saying that the latter had extorted him a bribeof approximatively 1,000 Euros. The Head of the Sogd Province’s Department ofYouth and Sports subsequently accused Mr. Mirsaidov to have embezzled thefunds. As of publication of this Urgent Appeal, he remained detained at thepre-trial detention centre of Khujand, where he has been detained since hisarrest and where is allowed to see his family members once a month.

On July 11, 2018, the OSCE Representative on Freedom of theMedia “expressedhis concern about [this] excessive sentence”.

The Observatory condemns Mr. Khayrullo Mirsaidov’ssentence and arbitrary detention, which seem aimed at hindering his peaceful and legitimate human rights work, in particularfor denouncing the corruption of local Tajik authorities.

The Observatory urges the authorities in Tajikistan toimmediately and unconditionally release Mr. Khayrullo Mirsaidov and to put anend to all forms of harassment, including at the judicial level, against him as well as all human rights defenders in Tajikistan.

Actions requested:

Please write to the authorities inTajikistan asking them to:

i. Guarantee in all circumstances thephysical and psychological integrity of Mr. Khayrullo Mirsaidov as well as of all human rights defenders in Tajikistan;

ii. Immediately and unconditionally releaseMr. Khayrullo Mirsaidov, as his detention is arbitrary since it only aims atpunishing him for his legitimate human rights activities;

iii. Put an end to all forms ofharassment, including at the judicial level, against Mr. Khayrullo Mirsaidovand all human rights defenders inTajikistan so they are able to carry out their work withoutunjustified hindrance and fear of reprisal;

iv. Comply in all circumstances with allthe provisions of the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, inparticular its Articles 1 and 12.2;

v. More generally, ensure in allcircumstances the respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms inaccordance with international human rights standards and instruments.


· President of the Republic of Tajikistan,H.E. Mr. Enomali Rahmmon, Fax: +992 372 21 68 00. Email:

· Minister of Justice of Tajikistan, Mr.Shohmurod Rustam, Fax: +992 37 221 80 66. E-mail:

· Minister of Foreign Affairs ofTajikistan, Mr. Sirodjidin Aslov, Fax: +992 372 21 02 59. Email:

· Minister of Internal Affairs ofTajikistan, Mr. Ramazon Rahimov, Fax: +992 372 21 26 48

· Ombudsperson, Zarif Alizoda, Fax: +992372 21 79 69, Email:

· General Prosecutor Salimzoda SherkhoniOdina, Fax: +992 372 21 02 59. Email:

· Chairman, State Committee for NationalSecurity, Saimymin Yatimov, Ministry of Security of Tajikistan. Fax: +992 37221 23 12

· Permanent Mission of the Republic ofTajikistan to the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. Fax: +41 22 734 11 58,Email:

· Embassy of the Republic of Tajikistan inBrussels, Belgium, Fax: + 32 2 649 01 95, Email:

Please also write to the diplomaticrepresentations of Tajikistan in your respective countries.


Paris-Geneva, July 16, 2018

Kindly inform us of any action undertakenquoting the code of this appeal in your reply.

The Observatory, an FIDH and OMCT venture,is dedicated to the protection of human rights defenders and aims to offer themconcrete support in their time of need. FIDH and OMCT are both members of, the European Union Human RightsDefenders Mechanism implemented by international civil society.

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