An investigation into a case of Tajik independent journalist and popular blogger Daler Imomali has been completed and it is expected to move to a court within the next few days, Radio Liberty’s Tajik Service, known locally as Radio Ozodi, reported on August 22.   

Since the case was classified as confidential, blocking the release of information about his detention, the law enforcement agencies and Imomali’s defense lawyer do not provide details of the case.

Recall, two Tajik popular bloggers Daler Imomali and Abdullo Ghurbati were arrested on June 15 after investigating the arbitrary demolition of homes in Dushanbe.

Criminal proceedings against Daler Imomali have been instituted under the provisions of three articles of Tajikistan’s Penal Code: Article 259 (1) – illegal entrepreneurship; Article 346 (2) -- deliberately false denunciation; and Note Part 2 of Article 307 – participation political, public and religious associations banned in Tajikistan.   

Recall, the case of Abdullo Ghurbati moved to a court on August 16.  

Ghurbati was charged with “violence against a representative of the authorities.”  After a long silence about the grounds for Ghurbati’s detention, the authorities finally announced on July 19 that he was accused of membership in an extremist group and collaborating with it – charges punishable by up to eight years in prison.   Ghurbati is charged with membership in the Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan (IRPT), which has been banned in Tajikistan since 2015, when it was designated a terrorist organization.

International media watchdogs have released statement urging Tajik authorities to release independent journalists who have been critical of the government.

Ranked 152nd out of 180 countries in Reporters without Borders (RSF)'s 2022 World Press Freedom Index, Tajikistan has fallen 36 places in the index since 2015.