DUSHANBE, June 2, 2015, Asia-Plus -- A court in Dushanbe’s Ismoili Somoni district is considering criminal proceedings instituted against Saidjaffar Mirzoshoyev, who was fighting alongside Islamic State (IS) militants in Syria.       

Judge Hotam Rajabzoda, who is presiding over Mirzoshoyev’s trial, says Saidjaffar Mirzoshoyev has been extradited from Syria at the request of the Tajik law enforcement authorities.

“Criminal proceedings against Mirzoshoyev have been instituted under the provisions of Article 401’ (1) of Tajikistan’s Penal Code – mercenary activities,” the judge said, noting that the verdict will be announced in the near future.

We will recall that the Tajik parliament on May 22, 2014 approved an amendment to the country’s Penal Code stipulating punishment for Tajik nationals taking part in foreign armed conflicts.

The Interior Ministry of Tajikistan reported last month that the country’s law enforcement authorities have decided to help Tajik nationals, who were involved in military conflicts in Syria and Iraq by mistake and who expressed remorse and want to return home.  According to information of the Tajik law enforcement authorities, dozens of Tajik nationals left the ranks of illegal armed formations in Iraq and Syria and they are currently in Turkey.

They do not dare return home for fear of criminal persecution but the Tajik authorities say that  Tajik nationals who return from and Iraq and Syria voluntarily and express remorse are exempt from punishment.