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Jailed Islamic Party Activist In Tajikistan Released On Parole

Muhammadruzi Burhonov was given a jail term in June
Muhammadruzi Burhonov was given a jail term in June
QURGHON-TEPPA, Tajikistan -- A Tajik opposition activist jailed for election violations has been released on parole on health grounds, RFE/RL's Tajik Service reports.

The Vakhsh district court in the southern region of Khatlon ruled this week that Muhammadruzi Burhonov, an activist with the Islamic Renaissance Party (IRP), should be released on humanitarian grounds as he had contracted tuberculosis.

Burhonov was sentenced to one year in jail in June after he was found guilty of election violations during February's parliamentary poll. The court found that Burhonov, who was a member of the local election commission, had voted on behalf of several other people including close relatives.

IRP Deputy Chairman Muhammadali Hait told RFE/RL that Burhonov's case is politically motivated. According to him, the authorities through Burhonov's sentencing demonstrated their ability to put pressure on any opposition party or activist.

Hait also said that Burhonov did a good job preventing possible fraudulent interference by local authorities in the elections, which resulted in the victory of IRP candidate Dinmuhammad Tavurov.

Burhonov told RFE/RL that although he was jailed he is happy that his actions helped his comrade to make it into parliament.