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Despite Torture Claims, Tajik Man Imprisoned For IS Recruiting

Tajik prisoner Jovidon Hakimov (file photo)

DUSHANBE -- A Tajik man who claimed that his confession of trying to recruit fighters for the Islamic State (IS) extremist group was obtained under duress, has been sentenced to 15 years in prison.

A court in Dushanbe on March 30 found Jovidon Hakimov, 29, guilty of organizing a criminal group and recruiting Tajik citizens to the ranks of IS militants fighting in Syria and Iraq. The court sentenced him the same day.

Hakimov’s lawyer and relatives said they will appeal the ruling.

Hakimov claimed earlier that he had been severely beaten by police officers who interrogated him after his arrest in January.

Several police officers who testified at the Dushanbe court hearing refuted Hakimov's claims.

Tajik authorities say some 1,100 Tajik nationals have joined IS militants in the Middle East, with most of them recruited in Russia, where hundreds of thousands of Tajiks are migrant workers.