Mirsaidov, Khayrullo

Gender: .
State of concern: .

Who, Why and How exiled:

Mirsaidov is a freelance Journalist. In 2017 he wrote an open letter to president Emomali Rachmon accusing high government officials of embezzlement and bribery (RFE/RL, 2019).

Category of exile: . (Definitions here.)
Alleged affiliation: Journalist.

Which stages experienced: Stage 1   Stage 2   not Stage 3. (Definitions here.)
Date of most serious incident: 2019.
Violence experienced: .

Stage 1 details (accusations/ charges/ Interpol notice/ extradition requests):

Shortly after publishing the letter Mirsaidov was arrested and indicted for embezzlement and waste of public funds as well as falsification of documents. In July 2018 he was sentenced to 12 years in prison and the payment of a redress of (converted) 12,000€. (Deutsche Welle, 2018a)

According to independent observers as well as human rights activists and colleagues the time context between Mirsaidov's open letter and the trial give rise to the suspicion that there is a political motive in Mirsaidov's case, hence that it is was retaliation for the criticism on the governmental officials (Deutsch Welle, 2018a; RFE/RL, 2019).

Stage 2 details (arrest/ detention/ extradition):

In October 2018 Mirsaidov left Tajikistan for Georgia to receive medical treatment there. Although, according to Mirsaidov, he informed the authorities about his temporary leave they detected a breach of the judicial conditions and sentenced him in absentia to 8 month in prison (Radio Ozodi, Feb 2019).

Other actions during Stages 1–3 (dispossession/ overseas assets frozen/ intimidation/ action against associates/ …):

The conviction of Mirsaidov sparked outrage amongst Human Rights organisations such as HRW, Reporters Without Borders, the National Association of Independent Mass Media in Tajikistan or the Norwegian Helsinki committee, and even the OHCHR and the OSCE criticised it. Mirsaidov received support from embassies of various western countries as well as from a Danish journalist who is friends with Mirsaidov and started a twitter campaign #FreeKhayrullo to help (Deutsche Welle, 2018a).

Probably due to the wide attention this case attracted Mirsaidov has been released from prison and his 12 years sentence has been converted to a 7,300€ fine and community service (Deutsche Welle, 2018b). Yet, he was not allowed to leave the country nor the district without prior permission of the authorities (RFE/RL, 2019).

International arrest warrant: .

Countries of transit, asylum and/or residence: .

Current status:

Because he is now on a Tajikistan wanted list and an extradition treaty between Georgia and Tajikistan exists, Mirsaidov has fled for Europe (Fergana News, Feb 2019).

Press sources:

Deutsche Welle, 2018a Journalist in Tadschikistan kämpft um Freiheit | DW | 15.08.2018. DW.COM. [Online.] Available at: https://www.dw.com/de/journalist-in-tadschikistan-k%C3%A4mpft-um-freiheit/a-45097340. Accessed 12 Mar. 2019.

Deutsche Welle, 2018b Tadschikischer Journalist Mirsaidov freigelassen | DW | 22.08.2018’. DW.COM. [Online.] Available at: https://www.dw.com/de/tadschikischer-journalist-mirsaidov-freigelassen/a-45187157. Accessed 12.3.2019.

RFE/RL, 2019 ‘Tajik Journalist Jailed In Absentia For ‘Breaching Court Order’’. [Online.] Available at: https://www.rferl.org/a/tajik-journalist-jailed-in-absentia-for-breaching-court-order-/29706416.html. Accessed 12.3.2019.

Radio Ozodi, Feb 2019 ‘Хайрулло Мирсаидов объявлен в розыск. ВИДЕО’. Радио Озоди. [Online.] Available at: https://rus.ozodi.org/a/29763397.html. Accessed 12.3.2019.

Fergana News, Feb 2019 ‘Опальный таджикский журналист Хайрулло Мирсаидов эмигрировал в Европу’. Available at: https://fergana.agency/news/105137/ Accessed 12.3.2019.