Tajik Court Orders Two-Month Custody For One Of Two Detained Bloggers

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A Tajik court has ordered pretrial detention of two months for one of two popular bloggers known for their reports criticizing authorities and detained recently in the capital, Dushanbe.

The case has been condemned by international free-press campaigners.

A lawyer told relatives that Abdullo Ghurbati was remanded in custody for two months after a hearing held in secret on June 18.

Ghurbati and colleague Daleri Imomali were detained late on June 15 after being summoned by police for questioning.

Confusion reigned among relatives and journalists who turned up to try and follow the proceedings late on June 18, with conflicting official signals over whether they would be held at the temporary detention center or the Shohmansur District Court.

They have not been allowed to see relatives since their detentions.

Authorities accuse Ghurbati of beating a police officer at the Shohmansur police station, a charge that could carry a fine or a two-year prison sentence.

Defense attorney Abdurahmon Sharipov said Ghurbati once again denied the charges at the detention hearing.

Prosecutors have not officially commented on the case.

Reporters Without Borders has condemned the detentions as persecution in violation of international law for the Tajik men's journalistic activities and called on the Tajik government to release them.

Copyright (c) 2015. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036.