Radio Liberty’s Tajik Service says Shahboz Sharifbek has never had a political agenda or supported any political, religious, or social group. He doesn't stand out from the crowd for any reason.

Too poor to attend college, Sharifbek's life revolved around finding odd jobs in his home village on the outskirts of the capital, Dushanbe, to provide for his impoverished family that includes his younger brother and their 82-year-old grandmother, who raised Shahboz and his brother when they were orphaned as kids.

But the 23-year-old Shahboz was recently sentenced to five years in prison for allegedly making a "public call via social media for extremism activity," a charge based on a video he posted online in October that criticized the authorities, including President Emomali Rahmon.

In the video recorded at his home in the village of Odili in the Vahdat district, Shahboz Sharifbek accuses local officials of forcibly taking his brother from their home to enlist in the army and beating his grandmother in the process.

Sharifbek's case has stunned many Tajiks as a glaring example of the government's complete lack of tolerance of any dissent and its retaliation against anyone who dares to voice discontent with officials or their actions.

Tajikistan has over the years jailed dozens of independent journalists, activists, and political opponents while also shutting down media outlets critical of the government or its policies.

But the jailing of Sharifbek means that the clampdown is being extended to ordinary citizens, in what many Tajiks see as a warning to others to keep silent.

In his nearly 13-minute smartphone video, Sharifbek angrily claims that local officials seized his brother from their home illegally “without providing a summons” and “treated him like an animal.”  Sharifbek adds that officials had “beaten up, dragged,” and “threatened" his elderly grandmother and aunt in the process.”

"If you want to recruit someone to the army, then do it according to the law -- send him a summons, call him to the enlistment office," Sharifbek says in the video.

"Instead they beat up an elderly grandmother, her daughter, and shoved my brother into a van and took him away, acting like kidnappers," Sharifbek said, showing the two women, who seemed to be in distress.

RFE/RL cannot independently confirm Sharifbek's claims. But Tajik officials are known to routinely round up conscript-age men from their homes and the streets during military call-up season and put pressure on families.