13 december 2017

Central Asia news

Tajikistan: Lawyer sent to the punishment cell for a fortnight - "for violation of the regime of detention."

05.10.2017 09:04 msk

Fergana


Buzurgmehr Yorov
The authorities of the pre-trial detention centre (SIZO) placed lawyer Buzurgmehr Yurov, who is serving a 28-year imprisonment in Tajikistan, for 15 days in jail for "violation of the custody regime in the pre-trial detention facility", Ozodi Radio (Tajik service of Radio Liberty) reports with reference to the head of SIZO of the city Dushanbe, Sadriddin Sharifzoda.

"During his stay in SIZO, he repeatedly violated the regime of detention. After the last violation, we put him in a punishment cell," he told the radio station without specifying which violations Yorov admitted.

However, Yorov's relatives believe that SIZO authorities punished him for media reports about tortures of him in custody. According to the mother of the lawyer Huriniso Iskhokova, the relatives learned about the fact that Buzurgmehr is in a punishment cell since 29 September only after the authorities refused to pass food for him in SIZO.

Recently, Human Rights Vision Foundation (HRVF) expressed concern about Yorov's health, and he endures constant beatings during the whole period of detention, which in the last month reached the highest brutality. HRVF called on the international community to take sanctions against the officials allowing lawlessness and assist in the release of a lawyer.

Buzurgmehr Yorov was arrested on 28 September 2015 of charges of fraud and forgery of documents. It happened a few days after he had stood up for the protection of members of the currently banned Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan (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, the authorities detained lawyer Nuriddin Mahkamov, who was a member 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, the authorities charged the lawyers with “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 prison.

In mid-October in 2016, two new criminal charges against Yorov emerged. 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 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 started 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