Tajik journalist Daler Sharifov, who was jailed last year on conviction of inciting religious enmity, has been released convicted.

“The prison staff brought him home today morning,” Daler Sharifov’s wife told Asia-Plus in an interview

Daler himself told Asia-Plus in a small talk that he is with his family and feels very good.  

Daler with relatives and friends

Recall, a court in Dushanbe’s Shohmansour district sentenced freelance Tajik journalist Daler Sharifov to one year in prison on April 16 last year.

The sentence followed his conviction on charges of inciting ethnic, racial, regional or religious enmity (Article 189 of Tajikistan’s Penal Code).  Sharifov served his term in a standard regime penal colony. 

A prosecutor in the trial of Daler Sharifov asked the court on 15 to sentence Sharifov to jail term of two years and four months.

The court, however, sentenced him to one year in prison, in taking into consideration three consequences: it is Daler’s first offense; full confession; and the presence of young children.  

Sharifov's relatives, human rights organizations, and media-freedom groups have rejected the accusations brought against him as unfounded.

Daler Sharifov was detained on January 28 last year and the Prosecutor-General’s Office of Tajikistan released a statement on February 1 noting that Daler Sharifov is suspected of inciting religious enmity.

The statement, in particular, said that during 2013-2019, a 32-year-old journalist Dalerjon Sharifov published more than 200 articles and commentaries of extremist nature aimed at inciting religious enmity in social networks.

In June 2019, Daler Sharifov published 100 copies of an unidentified text allegedly affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood movement in an underground printing house, according to the statement.

“In this connection, criminal proceedings were instituted against Sharifov under the provisions of Article 189 (1) – inciting racial, ethnic, regional or religious enmity,” the statement said.

Meanwhile, international media-freedom watchdogs have called extremism charges brought against the journalist “absurd.”