March 15, 2016
Who will defend the defenders when all the lawyers are detained?
A Tajik lawyer says the government has been putting pressure on his family because of his client, jailed politician Zayd Saidov. Ishoq Tabarov told RFE/RLthat the recent charging of his son, Daler, with failure to report a crime and the sentencing of his other son, Firuz, to more than 13 years in jail for anti-state propaganda, were politically motivated moves.
Saidov, a prominent businessman, formed a political party ahead of the 2012 presidential elections. He was arrested and charged with fraud, polygamy, and rape. After conviction, he was sentenced to 26 years in jail. In August 2015, Saidov was given three more years on additional charges of forgery, abuse of office, embezzlement, and tax evasion.
Tabarov is far from the first lawyer to come under pressure from the Tajik authorities, even just in relation to the Saidov case.