New criminal proceedings against family of Buzurgmehr Yorov and his lawyer
In Tajikistan, criminal proceedings has been brought against the brother, sister and lawyer of the convicted Buzurgmehr Yorov. Jamshed Yorov, Hosiyat Yorova and lawyer Muazzama Kodirova are charged with “calls for a violent overthrow of the constitutional order", Ozodi (Tajik service of Radio Liberty) reports with reference to the wife of Buzurgmehr Zarrina Nabiyeva. All three are now outside of Tajikistan.
Hosiyat Yorova, Jamshed Yorov, Muazzama Kodirova
According to Zarrina Nabiyeva, she was told about the criminal cases against the brother, sister, and lawyer of Buzurgmehr Yorov in the Office for Combating Organised Crime of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Tajikistan.
“Dilbar Zukhurova, Jamshed's wife, asked me to accompany her to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, where she was summoned for questioning. I was interrogated too. They wanted information on the whereabouts of Jamshed and Hosiyat. I said that I do not know anything. They also said that Muazzama Kodirova also was charged,” Zarrina Nabiyeva says.
Jamshed and Hosiyat also reported in social networks about the initiation of criminal proceedings against them in the homeland. In a written response to Ozodi's request, Jamshed Yorov said that proceedings had been opened after his comments on Facebook.
“I also asked Facebook friends and compatriots living abroad in helping them to compile a list of their relatives who are held hostage by the Tajik authorities,” Jamshed Yorov writes.
According to Mr Yorov's relatives, a month ago a new investigation was launched against Jamshed by the officers of the department of internal affairs of the city of Vahdat in Tajikistan.
Earlier in August 2016, Jamshed Yorov, who at that time was the lawyer of the deputy chair of the Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan (PIVT) Mahmadali Hait, was detained on charges of disclosing information representing state secrets (the distribution of a copy of the verdict against members of the PIVT, in fact). However, a month later he was released under an amnesty announced in honour of the 25th anniversary of Tajikistan's independence.
Until recently, Buzurgmehr Yorov's lawyer was Muazzama Kodirova, but because of the pressure and threats, she was first forced to abandon the protection of her colleague, and then leave Tajikistan and seek political asylum in Germany. According to Muazzama Kodirova, during a meeting with her client in January of this year her recorder was withdrawn and she was accused of divulging the secrets of the investigation, after which a pressure began.
Buzurgmehr Yorov was arrested on 28 September 2015 of charges of fraud and forgery of documents. This happened a few days after he had stood up for the protection of members of the currently banned PIVT and had led the Public Committee for the Prevention and Interception of Unlawful Detention, Arrest, Search and Detention. By the time of the arrest, Mr Yorov was dealing with the cases of seven detained members of the PIVT.
Later, lawyer Nuriddin Mahkamov, was detained, who had been employed by the “Sipar” Bar Association, Mr Yorov had been a member of which too. Prior to his detention, Nuriddin Mahkamov intended to defend the interests of his arrested colleague, but could not receive a warrant for his protection. Soon, arrested lawyers were accused of “extremism”, “calls for a violent overthrow of the constitutional order” and the “incitement of national, racial and religious hatred.”
The court of Dushanbe city on 6 October 2015 sentenced Mr Yorov to 23 years, and Mr Mahkamov - to 21 years of imprisonment with serving a sentence in a strict regime colony.
In mid-October in 2016, it became known about two new criminal charges against Mr Yorov. One of them is according to Article 330 (“Insulting a Representative of the Authority”) and Article 355 (“Contempt of Court”) of the Criminal Code of the Republic.
The criminal proceedings were started after a dispute arose in the course of Mr Yorov's speech in court with the last word between him and the public prosecutor Rustam Takdirzod. This case added two more years of imprisonment for Mr Yorov.
Based on other three complaints criminal proceedings were initiated under the Article 247 “Fraud”. And in April of this year, Mr Yorov's wife was informed about the fourth criminal case against him - this time on charges of public insulting of the Founder of Peace and National Unity - the Leader of the Nation.