Abdullo Ghurbati, a journalist for Asia-Plus, has been beaten by unidentified assailants again.

On May 29, Abdullo Ghurbati traveled to the Khuroson district in the Khatlon province to make a report about people affected by a natural disaster.   

When he approached the tents, the car "Opel" drove up to him, and several guys got out of the car and attacked the journalist accusing him of incitement.   

One of the guys who was beating Abdullo introduced himself as head of jamoat.   

The Interior Ministry’s office for the Khatlon province has taken the incident under the control.  All heads of local jamoats were summoned to the police station in the Uyali jamoat, but the attacker was not among them.  

It was already the second attack on Abdullo Ghurbati. 

The first attack took place in the evening of May 11 when Abdullo Ghurbati was on his way home from a grocery store.    

The journalist is confident that the attack was planned.  Two unknown men in medical masks attacked and punched him for several minutes. The attackers ran away only when Abdullo started screaming and asking for help.

Abduallo Ghurbati after May 11 attack

Ghurbati believes that the assault is related to his professional activities, as before that he had received several threatening phone calls.   

On May 15, four days following the incident, the Interior Ministry instituted criminal proceedings under Article 237 of Tajikistan’s Penal Code (hooliganism) in connection with the assault of Abdullo Ghurbati.

The assault of the journalist raised concerns among the human rights organizations. In particular, Human Rights Watch expressed concern about the assault of Abdullo Ghurbati and called on Tajik authorities to find the attackers.

Similar statements were made by the Committee to Protect Journalists, OSCE and the U.S. Embassy in Dushanbe. All these organizations and the U.S. Embassy called on the Tajik authorities to create favorable conditions for journalists to work freely.

A 23-year-old Abdullo Ghurbati has recently became famous for his resonance materials.  For instance, in early March, he made a report on the panic at Dushanbe’s markets due to forecasts of a possible shortage of flour.

Abdullo Ghurbati has worked for Asia-Plus since last year.  Prior to this, he had cooperated with Tajikistan Center for Investigative Journalism.