Vienna, 29 September 2017 – The South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) expressed deep concern for the human rights and media freedom violations committed against imprisoned human rights activist and lawyer Buzurgmehr Yorov.
According to his family and other sources, Yorov has been repeatedly beaten and abused by police officials in prison. The lawyer was convicted last year to 17 years of incarceration for alleged fraud and “insulting the leader of the nation”. Yorov was initially arrested in September 2015 when Tajik authorities accused him and another lawyer, Nuriddin Mahkamov, of fraud and forgery. This was followed by additional charges of allegedly inciting ethnic enmity, calling for the overthrow of the government, and support of extremist activity.
SEEMO expresses deep concern for the state of human rights and basic freedoms in Tajikistan and calls on authorities to immediately release Buzurgmehr Yorov. SEEMO also urges institutions in Tajikistan to release all other political prisoners, activists and journalists currently behind bars. The damaging position Yorov was put in is not only undemocratic but also highly dangerous for other free thinkers in the country.
SEEMO is a network of editors, media executives and leading journalists in South, East and Central Europe.