The 28-year-old resident of the Navgilem jamoat near the northern city of Isfara, Abduvaqos Olimov has got a lengthy jail term for fighting in Syria. 

The Isfara city court has sentenced Olimov to 12½ year in prison on May 3.  The sentence followed his conviction on charges of mercenary activities and illegal involvement of Tajik nationals and stateless persons permanently living in Tajikistan in foreign armed conflicts (Article 401’ of Tajikistan’s Penal Code).

Olimov will serve his term in a high-security penal colony.     

Judge Komiljon Ghanizoda, who presided over the trial, says Olimov joined Islamic State (IS) terror group through Internet in Moscow while working there as labor migrant.

According to him, Olimov traveled to Turkey in November 2014 and from there he traveled to Syria.  Olimov reportedly got training at IS training camp in Raqqa.  On completion of the training, Olimov and four other members of IS militant group had been working as watchmen in the Syrian city of Ribat.

“In 2015, Olimov was participating in clashes in one of Kurdish villages,” the judge said, noting Olimov and several other IS militants had been arrested by the Syrian law enforcement authorities and handed over to Turkey.  “On November 15, 2017, Tajik security officers transported Olimov to Tajikistan,” the judge added.

According to the Interior Ministry of Tajikistan, between 2012 and mid-2016, at least 1,094 Tajik nationals joined the Islamic State group — among them were around 200 women. Authorities claim that around four-fifth of the women only made the trip to Syria to be with their spouses.