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IRPT’s Leader Sentenced in Absentia

Friday 5 October 2018

DUSHANBE (Radio Ozodi) — The Supreme Court of Tajikistan sentenced in absentia the leader of the banned Islamic Revival Party of Tajikistan (IRPT) Muhiddin Kabiri to a lengthy prison term.

Muhiddin Kabiri

“The court sessions were held behind closed doors and in the absence of the defendant,” said a source in the Supreme Court of Tajikistan to Radio Ozodi. He declined to report other details, including the term of imprisonment, citing the lack of authority to speak about this criminal case. “The only thing I can say is that the sentence is too harsh,” the source said.

The authorities of Tajikistan have not officially announced the verdict of M. Kabiri.

In the fall of 2015, after the armed insurrection of the Deputy Minister of Defense Abduhalim Nazarzoda, the Supreme Court of the Republic of Tajikistan declared the IRPT a terrorist organization and banned its activities in the country.

On February 1, the head of the Supreme Court of Tajikistan, Shermuhammad Shokhiyon, in an interview with journalists confirmed that a criminal case was initiated against the leader of the IRPI, which is being considered in the absence of the accused. He refused to talk about the accusations against Kabiri, citing the fact that the case is classified as “secret”.

Authorities believe that Mukhiddin Kabiri assisted General Nazarzod in attempting a coup d’état. Fourteen high-ranking members of the party were sentenced to long terms of imprisonment, two of them received life sentences.

The leader of the Islamic Party banned in Tajikistan since the spring of 2015 is in exile. He repeatedly denied all accusations, stating that the prosecution of party members was politically motivated. In March of this year, Interpol announced that it removed Muhiddin Kabiri and Kamariddin Afzali, a member of the political council of the IRPT, from the list of persons on the international wanted list. It is reported that they are recognized as persecuted for their beliefs and are no longer involved in the red list of the international police.

At present, there are dozens of absentee criminal cases in the courts of the country, initiated against Tajik “jihadists”. This year, the Khatlon Oblast Court sentenced in absentia to long terms of imprisonment four Tajik militants of the Islamic State terrorist group.

Last year, the Parliament of Tajikistan approved the amendments proposed by the government to the Criminal Procedure Code of the Republic of Tajikistan on the practice of applying in the country correspondence sentences for particularly dangerous criminals who are abroad.

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