Abdulmajid Rizoev sentenced
On 14 June, 2021 the District Court of Dushanbe sentenced human rights lawyer Abdulmajid Rizoev to 5 years and 6 months’ imprisonment for “public calls for performance of an extremist activity using the mass media and Internet” under the Tajik Criminal Code. This was reported by Front Line Defenders.
We had already raised our concern with the Tajik authorities about the ongoing detention and judicial harassment of Rizoev who was originally arrested in November 2020 after he had published a number of critical social media posts.
It appears that Rizoev has been targeted solely as a result of his legitimate and peaceful human rights work. Prior to his arrest he had been working as a legal representative for residents in Dushanbe who had been evicted from their home by a construction company carrying out demolition work. The day before his arrest the construction company filed a legal complaint against him alleging that his activities were obstructing the company’s work. Lawyers for Lawyers believes that the charges against Rizoev are connected to, and serve to curb his legitimate activities as an attorney.
We understand that Rizoev’s lawyers will appeal against his sentence.
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