14 december 2017

Central Asia news

Lawyer serving 25 years sentence faces another 17 years of imprisonment

07.08.2017 09:10 msk

Fergana


Buzurgmehr Yorov

At the trial in Dushanbe, the state prosecutor has requested another 17 years of imprisonment for the disgraced lawyer Buzurgmehr Yorov charging him with fraud and insult of the leader of the nation. The Tajik human rights defender, who was added earlier two years to the 23-year term of imprisonment, can receive a total of 30 years - the maximum period that the criminal legislation of Tajikistan allows. The trial of Yorov is held behind closed doors, Asia Plus news agency reports referring to the relatives of the lawyer. If the lawyer is found guilty, the court has the right to sentence him only to five years.

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. Before 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 Yorov to 23 years, and Mahkamov - to 21 years of imprisonment with serving a sentence in a strict regime colony.

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.

In mid-October in 2016, it became known about two new criminal charges against 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 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, 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.

Fergana News Agency