Prosecutors are seeking more than 10 years in prison for noted Tajik blogger Daleri Imomali on charges human rights organizations call unfounded.
A source close to law enforcement structures told RFE/RL on October 13 that the prosecution asked the Shohmansur district court a day earlier to convict Imomali on charges of illegal entrepreneurship, premeditated false denunciation, and cooperating with a terrorist group. It then called for the court to sentence him to 10 1/2 years in prison.
Imomali’s trial, which started on October 7, is being held behind closed doors inside a detention center in Dushanbe.
Imomali has pleaded guilty to the illegal entrepreneurship charge but rejected the other two.
Known for his articles critical of the government, Imomali was detained along with noted journalist Abdullo Ghurbati on June 15.
Ghurbati was sentenced on October 4 to 7 1/2 years in prison on charges of publicly insulting an authority, minor assault of an authority, and participating in the activities of an extremist group. Ghurbati pleaded not guilty to all three charges.
Human Rights Watch and the Committee to Protect Journalists have demanded Tajik officials immediately release Imomali and Ghurbati.
Tajik President Emomali Rahmon has been criticized by international human rights groups for years over his disregard for independent media, religious freedoms, civil society, and political pluralism in the tightly controlled former Soviet republic.