Accessibility links

Breaking News

Tajik 'Doctor' Jailed For Treating Ex-OMON Commander Who Joined IS

Mahmadiev was detained in Turkey in 2016 and extradited to Tajikistan earlier this year. (file photo)

DUSHANBE -- A court in Dushanbe has sentenced a Tajik man to 13 years in jail for giving medical aid to a high-profile defector, former Tajik police commander Gulmurod Halimov, who joined the Islamic State (IS) extremist group in Syria.

Officials of the Ismoili Somoni district court in Dushanbe said on August 1 that Mahmad Mahmadiev was found guilty of being a "mercenary." It is not clear when exactly he was convicted and sentenced.

Mahmadiev was detained in Turkey in 2016 and extradited to Tajikistan in March. Investigators have said that Mahmadiev joined IS in 2015 and provided medical aid to Halimov for injuries he sustained there.

Halimov, a former commander of Tajik Interior Ministry Special Forces, known as OMON, announced that he had joined IS via the Internet in May 2015.

Tajikistan has issued an international warrant for his arrest and the United States has offered $3 million for information on his whereabouts.

There have been several unconfirmed reports from both northern Iraq and Syria since 2015 that Halimov was killed while fighting for IS militants.

Tajik authorities have repeatedly rejected those reports, saying they think he is still alive.

  • 16x9 Image

    RFE/RL's Tajik Service

    RFE/RL's Tajik Service attracts a young, influential audience with its timely, locally focused reporting. The government's continued vigor in controlling politics and media has lent further impetus to Radio Ozodi's trusted coverage.