The National Commissioner for Human Rights will verify the fact of use of torture against the jailed blogger Abdusattor Pirmuhammadzoda, Muqim Ashourov, the head of the Department for State Protection of Civil and Political Rights, Tajik Ombudsman’s Office, told reporters in Dushanbe on February 2.  

According to him, none of Pirmuhammadzoda’s relatives contacted them on this matter.  

“Yes, I read about it in the media, but no one has complained to us about this,” said Ashourov.  “However,    regardless of this, the Ombudsman intends to verify this fact during this month.  

It was also noted during the news conference that the Ombudsman also plan to meet with other jailed journalists – Daler Imomali and Abdulloh Ghurbati.   

In all, seven Tajik independent journalists and bloggers, namely Mamadsulton Mavlonazarov, Abdulloh Ghurbati, Daler Imomali, Zavqibek Saidamini, Khoushrouz Jumayev, Ulfatkhonim Mamadshoyeva and Abdusattor Pirmuhammadzoda were jailed last year.

They were sentenced to prison terms of between seven and twenty-one  years following their conviction on charges of spreading false information, participation in extremism community and collaboration with banned organization. 

The journalists themselves and their relatives reject these charges as absolutely unfounded.    

International groups, including Human Rights Watch and the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), have called on the Tajik government to release the reporters and end its campaign against the free press.

A report released by the CPJ on December 14 says arrest and conviction of independent journalists and bloggers makes Tajikistan the leading jailer in Central Asia.

The report, in particular, notes that the prisoners were tried secretly behind closed doors in detention centers, not courts, and sentenced to lengthy prison terms amid allegations of torture.

Ranked 152nd out of 180 countries in RSF's 2022 World Press Freedom Index, Tajikistan has fallen 36 places in the index since 2015.