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Dushanbe City Court Upholds Defamation Ruling Against Journalist

The Dushanbe City Court has upheld a ruling against independent journalist Olga Tutubalina.

The court ruled on April 30 that the previous court decision against Tutubalina, who is deputy chief editor of the Asia Plus website, should remain unchanged.

In February, a court in Dushanbe found Tutubalina guilty of "insulting Tajik intelligentsia." The court ruled then that Tutubalina must pay $6,000 to three plaintiffs who claimed they were insulted by an article written by Tutubalina, even though they were not named n the article.

Tutubalina's lawyers said on April 30 that they will appeal the court's latest decision in Tajikistan's Supreme Court.

Domestic and international media rights watchdogs, including Reporters without Borders, and the OSCE's representative on freedom of the media, Dunja Mijatovic, condemned the court's February ruling, calling it a move against freedom of speech.