Relatives of Madina Mahmadjonova, who became the victim of a notorious polygamy case, and defense lawyer who represented them in trial denounce the court verdict against Aziza Davlatova and Parviz Davlatov and vow to appeal to the Supreme Court Appellate Board.  

“We disagree with the verdict passed by the Supreme Court against Aziza Davlatova, who found guilty of the attempted murder.  Why did the court not review the case after Madina’s death and not commute attempted murder sentence to murder sentence? After receiving a copy of the verdict we will probably appeal to the Supreme Court Appellate Board,” they told Asia-Plus in an interview. 

Recall, Aziza Davlatova, the main suspect in the torture of Madina Mahmadjonova, the alleged second wife of her husband Parviz Davlatov, was convicted on December 28 after being found guilty of attempted murder, while Madina Mahmadjonova died on December 15. 

Aziza Davlatova’s husband Parviz Davlatov was convicted on December 14 after being found guilty of bigamy, torture and incitement to suicide.  He was charged with torturing his wife Aziza Davlatova.

This notorious polygamy case was closely watched by residents of Tajikistan.   

Aziza Davlatova was arrested earlier last month along with her husband, Parviz Davlatov. 

The initial decision to close the case backfired after women’s rights activists took to social media to demand justice for the victim, 32-year-old Madina Mahmadjonova.  They shared photos showing the victim’s horrific injuries and demanded answers from officials.

Parviz Davlatov, 47, worked as a manager at one of the city branches of a major mobile phone operator in Tajikistan.

Madina Mahmadjonova worked as an accountant at the same branch until the summer when Parviz Davlatov fired her -- allegedly under pressure from his wife.

Parviz Davlatov’s family is said to have high-placed political connections through his father, Davlatali Davlatzoda, the former first deputy chairman of the ruling People’s Democratic Party of Tajikistan (PDPT).  He has held many other high-profile posts in Emomali Rahmon’s government.

On August 25, Madina was allegedly attacked by Aziza Davlatova, who accused the victim of having a romantic relationship with her husband for more than two years.

Madina was admitted to hospital on August 26 “unconscious, with grave injuries” and apparent signs of strangulation.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, two doctors at the Shifobakhsh medical facility told Radio Liberty’s Tajik Service, known locally as Radio Ozodi, at the time that Mahmadjonova suffered from brain damage due to a lack of oxygen as the result of strangulation. The medics said they “don’t know” if she will ever fully recover.”

Meanwhile, after the passage of more than three months, the medics say Madina’s condition has improved. Asad Nourov, a physician with the Qariyai Bolo hospital told Radio Ozodi on December 13 that she is not completely out of her coma yet but about 20 days ago she opened her eyes and tears are flowing from her eyes.

Unfortunately, Madina Mahmadjonova died in hospital on December 15.

Davlatali Davlatzoda, 74, told Radio Ozodi in early November that it was “jealousy” that drove his daughter-in-law to assault the other woman and that she must be held accountable.  “However, I don’t know what my son is being accused of,” Davlatzoda said. “He was in Dushanbe at the time of the assault, which occurred outside the city.”

It remains unclear if there are other suspects in the case, Radio Ozodi said on November 9.

Outraged Dushanbe residents signed an open letter about the case to President Emomali Rahmon and Dushanbe Mayor Rustam Emomali, who is also Chairman of the Majlisi Milli (Tajikistan’s upper chamber of parliament). 

Rustam Emomali ordered a new probe that saw the couple being arrested and formally charged.  Two high-ranked officers from the city’s police and prosecutors’ office – district police chief Zafar Ismoilzoda and deputy district prosecutor Suhrob Salimzoda -- were also dismissed from their posts for allegedly mishandling the case.