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Court Jails Sons Of Imprisoned Tajik Opposition Figure

Tajik opposition figure Zayd Saidov

Tajik opposition figure Zayd Saidov

DUSHANBE -- A Tajik court has handed down short-term jail sentences to family members and supporters of a detained opposition figure a day after they organized a rally calling for his freedom.

Four sons and a son-in-law of Zayd Saidov were found guilty of undermining public order during the rally, and were sentenced to five days in prison each by a Dushanbe district court on August 29.

More than 50 people took part in the Dushanbe rally on August 28.

Saidov, a wealthy businessman and opposition figure, was arrested on May 19 on bribery, rape, and polygamy charges.

He denies the indictments and says he is being persecuted for his decision to set up a new political party.

Presenting his party's program in April, Saidov had criticized the government for "inefficient reforms" and "widespread corruption."