October 4, 2017
Lawyers for Lawyers has grave concerns about the situation of lawyer Buzurgmehr Yorov. Two years ago, on 28 September 2015, Yorov was arrested. Since then he has been imprisoned. Recently, Yorov’s family members have reported that he allegedly is being subjected to regular beatings – accompanied by threats, insults and harassment – by officials at the detention centre. Lawyers for Lawyers called on the Tajik authorities to release Buzurgmehr Yorov immediately.
At the time of his arrest, Yorov had just started to represent thirteen senior leaders of the Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan (IRPT). These leaders were arrested by the authorities on various charges on 16 September 2015. The IRPT was the only Islamic political party legally registered in Central Asia before the Supreme Court of Tajikistan banned the party and declared it a terrorist organization on 29 September 2015.
On 6 October 2016, the Dushanbe City Court sentenced Yorov to 23 years in prison. The court found Mr. Yorov guilty of, amongst other things, “fraud” and “public calls for undertaking extremist activities”. Yorov pleaded not guilty and denied any wrongdoing, insisting in his closing statement on 3 October 2016 that he was “not an extremist, but a lawyer”.
Since then, a further three cases have been instigated against Yorov on charges of fraud, “disrespecting” the court, insulting government officials and insulting “the leader of the Nation”, and he has been sentenced to an additional five years in prison.