A 80-year-old Doniyor Nabiyev (Boboi Dona) jailed on extremism charges was released on April 23, Radio Liberty’s Tajik Service, known locally as Radio Ozodi, reported on April 24.

One of Boboi Dona’s relatives told Radio Ozodi on the basis of anonymity that the last weeks Boboi Dona was in the penal colony’s infirmary.  

“Part of his term was shortened in accordance with the latest amnesty law, and the court took into account his advanced age and illness and released him,” said the relative.  “Now we have to treat him because he has tuberculosis.” 

Recall, Tajik police detained Doniyor Nabiyev on August 27 last year and accused him of illegal activities on behalf of the banned of the Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan (IRPT).  The police, in particular, charged him with receiving money from “special services of certain countries” for the promotion of extremism and with the transfer of funds to an alleged military wing of the IRPT hiding out in Afghanistan.

On December 28, 2020, a court in Dushanbe’s Ismoili Somoni district found Nabiyev guilty of “organizing activities of an extremist organization” and sentenced him to seven years in prison.

In a statement released on January 20, Human Rights Watch (HRW) urged the Tajik authorities to immediately release the 80-year-old Doniyor Nabiyev.

A statement, in particular, said, “Nabiyev should not be in jail for the kindness he showed people in need.  He should be released immediately; as a start, given the serious risks to his health in prison, the authorities should release him on humanitarian grounds.”

The New-York-based human rights watchdog noted that there are serious concerns about whether Nabiyev, “who according to a person close to his family, has tuberculosis, will survive his prison term.”

HRW said, “Nabiyev is the latest victim of politically motivated arrests and imprisonments since the onset of the current human rights crisis seven years ago.”

In the weeks since the court decision hundreds of social media users have expressed their dismay and called on authorities to release Nabiyev, or at least change the terms of his sentence.  

According to HRW, Doniyor Nabiyev was just trying to help people in need.  He had reportedly been sharing his retirement savings with the local families of political prisoners.

Over several years he had passed on between $15-$30 monthly to the impoverished relatives of jailed members of the IRPT, an opposition party the Tajik government banned in 2015 and declared a terrorist organization, HRW said, noting that Nabiyev is a former IRPT member, “so he knew those in jail. He had also twice received small funds from foreign-based relatives of political prisoners, which he transferred to the prisoners to help with food.”