HRW urges Tajik authorities to immediately release 80-year-old Doniyor Nabiyev

5 months ago Web Desk 0

A statement released by the New-York-based human rights watchdog on January 20 says, “Nabiyev should not be in jail for the kindness he showed people in need. He should be released immediately; as a start, given the serious risks to his health in prison, the authorities should release him on humanitarian grounds.”


HRW notes that there are serious concerns about whether Nabiyev, “who according to a person close to his family, has tuberculosis, will survive his prison term.”


There have reportedly been reports of outbreaks of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in Tajik prisons. The World Health Organization (WHO) has urged governments to release older and vulnerable prisoners during the pandemic, according to HRW.


HRW says, “Nabiyev is the latest victim of politically motivated arrests and imprisonments since the onset of the current human rights crisis seven years ago.”


In the weeks since the court decision hundreds of social media users have expressed their dismay and called for authorities to release Nabiyev, or at least change the terms of his sentence. Doniyor Nabiyev’s family is currently appealing the case.


According to HRW, Doniyor Nabiyev was just trying to help people in need. He had reportedly been sharing his retirement savings with the local families of political prisoners.


Over several years he had passed on between $15-$30 monthly to the impoverished relatives of jailed members of the Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan (IRPT), an opposition party the Tajik government banned in 2015 and declared a terrorist organization, HRW said, noting that Nabiyev is a former IRPT member, “so he knew those in jail. He had also twice received small funds from foreign-based relatives of political prisoners, which he transferred to the prisoners to help with food.”


Tajik police detained Nabiyev on August 27 last year and accused him of illegal activities on behalf of the banned IRPT. The police, in particular, charged him with receiving money from “special services of certain countries” for the promotion of extremism and with the transfer of funds to an alleged military wing of the IRPT hiding out in Afghanistan.


On December 28, 2020, a court in Dushanbe’s Ismoili Somoni district found Nabiyev guilty of “organizing activities of an extremist organization” and sentenced him to seven years in prison.


Source: Asia Plus