Tajik politician sent to penal colony after giving interview

Jailed Tajik politician Mahmudruzi Iskandarov transffered to remote penal colony after giving interview to Radio Free Europe

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

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Last week, Mahmudruzi Iskandarov, the former leader of Tajikistan’s Democratic Party who has been behind bars for 23 years, gave an interview to Radio  Free Europe / Radio Liberty in which he criticised the peace agreement which ended Tajikistan's civil war in 1997.

The civil war that broke out in 1992 led to the deaths of almost 50,000 people before a ceasefire agreement was signed. Isakandarov said the agreement was wrong.

The politician’s brother, Abbosiddin Homidov, also talked to RFE/RL and said that his brother was transferred due to speaking out.

Hamidov also said that the authorities have sent his brother to a penal colony in the faraway town of Vahdat from his previous jail cell in Dushanbe to keep him away from the mediat.

Iskandarov’s transfer has been confirmed by officials at the Tajik Penal System Control Agency. However, the officials have abstained from commenting on the transfer.

Iskandarov, who is the former CEO of the Tajik Gas Company, was convicted of terrorism, illegal possession of arms, attempted murder, corruption and abuse of office in 2005 and was sentenced to 23 year in jail. However, he and his supporters claim the charges were politically motivated.

In 2013, Zaid Saidov -  aTajik opposition candidate and former businessman - was found guilty of fraud, bribery, rape and polygamy and sentenced to a term of 26 years in prison . His supporters also allege the judgements were politically motivated.

TRTWorld and agencies