The Panjakent city court sentenced local freelance journalist Khurshed Fozilov to seven years in prison on May 26.  

The sentence followed his conviction on charges public calls for forcible changes to the constitutional order in the country through the media and or the Internet (Article 307 (2) of Tajikistan’s Penal Code).

The court’s ruling was nearly identical to the prosecutor’s earlier demand for a 7 ½ prison term.  

The trail was held behind closed doors at the Khujand-based pretrial detention facility.  Only his defense lawyers Dilafrouz Samadova and Anvar Bobokhonov and his mother and brother were admitted to the hearing. 

The authorities have charged Khurshed Fozilov with cooperation with political parties and movement that are banned in Tajikistan. 

Khurshed Fozilov maintains his innocence.  He noted through his defense lawyer that he was coerced to testify against himself. 

The Panjakent prosecutor’s office completed investigation into the case of Khurshed Fozilov on April 10 and it moved to the Panjakent city court.