Accessibility links

Breaking News


Umar Murodov shared the offending posts on a Russian social network while working as a migrant laborer in Russia.

A 30-year-old Tajik man has been sentenced to five years in prison after being found guilty of insulting the country’s president and calling for the overthrow of the government on social media posts, family and a court official say.

Umar Murodov shared the posts on Russian social network Odnoklassniki over the past two years while working as a migrant laborer in Russia, said a court official in Tajikistan’s southern Khatlon Province, where Murodov was sentenced.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity, saying he wasn't authorized to speak to the media.

Murodov was arrested on June 12 upon his return to his native town of Kulob.

Murodov’s father, Davlat Murodov, told RFE/RL on August 16 that his son was wanted by Tajik authorities over the allegations.

"Authorities had promised us that if he returned voluntarily, he will be pardoned. I sold our cow and bought him tickets. My son came, but they arrested him," the father said.

The family say they don’t agree with the court ruling but will not appeal it, and instead will write a letter to President Emomali Rahmon asking for a pardon.

Court documents obtained by RFE/RL’s Tajik Service show that Murodov admitted to reposting and liking several videos.

However, Umarov insisted he "didn't have an intention of overthrowing the government and insulting or slandering the president."

In April, another migrant worker from Khatlon, Alijon Sharipov, was sentenced to nine and a half years for watching, liking, and sharing videos of the banned Islamic Renaissance Party's gatherings abroad.

Sharipov was found guilty of "calling for extremism, calling for the overthrow of the government, and working for banned political parties."

Sharipov admitted sharing the videos, but said he didn’t know it was against the law.

Taner Kilic, the head of Amnesty International in Turkey (file photo)

A Turkish court has issued a ruling for the release from prison of Taner Kilic, the local head of Amnesty International, in one of several cases that have raised concerns about Turkey’s human rights record.

"Great news: The Istanbul court has ruled for the release of Amnesty Turkey Honorary Chair Taner Kilic," Amnesty researcher Andrew Gardner said on Twitter after the August 15 decision. "Expecting his release by this evening. Celebrations will start then."

Kilic has been jailed in Turkey's western city of Izmir for more than a year on charges of supporting Fethullah Gulen, the U.S.-based cleric that Ankara blames for Turkey’s failed July 2016 coup.

Gulen denies Turkey's allegations that he ordered his followers in Turkey to stage the attempted coup.

Earlier on August 15, a Turkish court rejected an appeal for the release from house arrest of U.S. Evangelical Christian pastor Andrew Brunson and for his travel ban to be lifted.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AP, AFP, and dpa

Load more

About This Blog

"Watchdog" is a blog with a singular mission -- to monitor the latest developments concerning human rights, civil society, and press freedom. We'll pay particular attention to reports concerning countries in RFE/RL's broadcast region.


Journalists In Trouble

RFE/RL journalists take risks, face threats, and make sacrifices every day in an effort to gather the news. Our "Journalists In Trouble" page recognizes their courage and conviction, and documents the high price that many have paid simply for doing their jobs. More