Khayrullo Mirsaidov

H.E. Mr. Emomali Rahmon,

President of the Republic of Tajikistan,

Fax: +992 372 21 68 00.

Email: [email protected]

Your Excellency:

I am William Nicholas Gomes, Human rights defender and Freelance journalist.

I am writing to voice my deep concern about the ongoing judicial harassment against Khayrullo Mirsaidov .

Khayrullo Mirsaidov has been an independent journalist and political analyst for the past 17 years. He has reported for Deutsche Welle, Asia-Plus, and the Fergana media outlets, among others. Khayrullo Mirsaidov has often written about human rights issues, ecological problems, and respect for ethnic minorities. He also worked as a media development trainer on projects sponsored by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Department for International Development (DFID), and the Index on Censorship.

I have been informed by several reliable sources ( FIDH, the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) and the Front Line Defenders)   about the recent  release of Mr. Khayrullo Mirsaidov.

According to the information received, on 22 August 2018, Sughd Regional Court overturned Khayrullo Mirsaidov’s 12 year prison sentence and ruled to release him after nine months in detention. Nevertheless, he has been found guilty of “embezzlement” under part 4(b) of Article 245 of the Criminal Code of Tajikistan, “forgery” under part 1 of Article 340, and “providing false testimony” under part 2 (a) of Article 346.


As a result of his conviction, the Court ordered Khayrullo Mirsaidov to pay a fine of 80,000 Tajik somoni (€7,300). He has also been ordered to pay 20% of his salary to the State over the next two years, a punishment in Tajikistan known as “public utility work”. A further hearing is scheduled for late August to appeal his conviction, as the defender denies all charges against him.

On 11 July 2018, Khujand City Court condemned Khayrullo Mirsaidov to 12 years’ imprisonment in a strict regime prison colony. On 5 December 2017, the regional Prosecutor General’s office arrested and detained the human rights defender in Khujand, in Tajikistan’s northern Sughd region. The charges against him were brought after Khayrullo Mirsaidov published an open letter to Tajikistan’s President to draw his attention to corruption among local authorities.

I welcome the reduction of Khayrullo Mirsaidov’s sentence, however I condemn his conviction and the fine handed down against him. I  believe that he should never have been convicted in the first place for activities linked solely to his peaceful and legitimate work in defence of human rights.

I further condemn the ongoing judicial harassment against M. Khayrullo Mirsaidov and calls upon the authorities of Tajikistan to overturn his conviction and drop all charges against him, as well all human rights defenders in the country, as they are only aimed at punishing them for their legitimate human rights activities.

Actions requested:
1. Guarantee in all circumstances the physical and psychological integrity of Mr. Khayrullo Mirsaidov as well as of all human rights defenders in Tajikistan;
2. Put an end to all forms of harassment, including at the judicial level, against Mr. Khayrullo Mirsaidov and all human rights defenders in Tajikistan so they are able to carry out their work without unjustified hindrance and fear of reprisal;
3. Comply in all circumstances with all the provisions of the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, in particular its Articles 1 and 12.2;
4. More generally, ensure in all circumstances the respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with international human rights standards and instruments.

Yours sincerely,

William Nicholas Gomes
Journalist and Human Rights Activist
York, United Kingdom






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