Detained Tajik Journalist Facing Extremism Charges

Tajik journalist and blogger, Abdusattor Pirmuhammadzoda, who was arrested in early July, has been charged with publicly calling for extremist activities.

A senior official at the Tajikistan Interior Ministry, Shodi Hafizzoda in a brief statement said that Pirmuhammadzoda could face up to five years in prison if found guilty.

Pirmuhammadzoda was detained in the capital city Dushanbe on July 9, one day earlier police arrested independent reporter Zavqibek Saidamini over his alleged role and participation in an extremist group.

The Prosecutor-General’s Office said that Saidamini was detained for his links with two banned opposition parties, the Islamic Renaissance Party and Group 24. However, Saidamini strongly rejected supporting any political group.

Saidamini and Pirmuhammadzoda were former employees of the State Television and Radio Company, and they were very active in social media platforms, especially in YouTube.

Police in Dushanbe also arrested two other bloggers Daler Imomali and Abdullo Ghurbati on July 15.

Imomali was charged with having links to banned organizations and spreading false information and Ghurbati was charged for allegedly assaulting a police officer.  

International human rights groups have frequently accused Tajik President Emomali Rahmon for restricting independent media, religious freedoms, and political pluralism.

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