A jail term of Mahmadyusuf Ismoilov, a journalist from the Asht district of the Sughd province, has been reduced by one year, four months and twenty days.  Ismoilov is serving jail term in a high-security penal colony in Khujand.

An official source within the Sughd law enforcement authorities says Ismoilov’s jail term has been reduced in accordance with the amnesty law that was adopted on October 25, 2019.   

Recall, police detained former regional reporter for the Dushanbe-based independent weekly Nouri Zindagi (Light of Life) in Sughd province, Mahmadyusuf Ismoilov, on June 24, 2013 following an application by the 39-year-old resident of the Asht district Sanovbar Ahadova. 

Ahadova noted that Ismoilov had demanded money from her, threatening with the dissemination of information discrediting her.

Ismoilov was reportedly caught red-handed while taking 400 somoni from her.  Criminal proceedings have been instituted against Ismoilov under the provisions of two articles of Tajikistan’s Penal Code: Article 247 (2) – fraud; and Article 250 (2) – extortion.

On October 28, 2013, Mahmadyusuf Ismoilov was sentenced to eleven years in prison.    

It is not the first time police detained Mahmadyusuf Ismoilov.  In November 2010, Mahmadyusuf Ismoilov was arrested on separate counts of defamation, insult, and incitement to hatred over an article titled, “Asht Is Being Destroyed. Who Is Responsible for It?”  In the article, published in the August 2010 issue of Nouri Zindagi, Ismoilov criticized government and law enforcement officials in the Asht district and cited corruption, abuse of office, and mismanagement of funds.  Ismoilov who was facing 16 years imprisonment on charges related to his professional activities was released on October 14, 2011.  The Khujand court, however, barred Mahmadyusuf Ismoilov from journalistic work for three years, and ordered him to pay a fine in the amount of 35,000 somoni for causing moral damages.