A case of a popular blogger Avazmat Ghurbatov, who is better known by the pseudonym of Abdullo Ghurbati, has moved to a court.

His wife Muborak Qosimi told Asia-Plus yesterday evening that his case has moved to a court in Dushanbe’s Shohmansour district. 

Muborak said that while visiting Abdullo in the pretrial detention center, she had always faced difficulties under various pretexts.

“Even on his birthday when I went to see him, they didn’t let me in,” Muborak said.

According to her, after much effort, she was finally given permission to see her husband on August 16.  Before that, she reportedly saw him on July 23.    

“Not so long ago when I brought food to the pretrial detention center, Abdullo asked for medication for headache and kidney pain.   I think he has health problems and we are very concerned,” Muborak said.

Recall, two Tajik popular bloggers Abdullo Ghurbati and Daler Imomali were arrested on June 15 after investigating the arbitrary demolition of homes in Dushanbe.

Ghurbati was charged with “violence against a representative of the authorities” while Imomali was accused of “illegal business activities” with his YouTube channel and "false denunciation.”

After a long silence about the grounds for Ghurbati’s detention, the authorities finally announced on July 19 that he was accused of membership in an extremist group and collaborating with it – charges punishable by up to eight years in prison. 

Ghurbati is charged with membership in the Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan (IRPT), which has been banned in Tajikistan since 2015, when it was designated a terrorist organization. 

The same charges – along with others – had been brought against Imomali a few weeks earlier, but the case was classified as confidential, blocking the release of information about his detention.

International media watchdogs have released statement urging Tajik authorities to release independent journalists who have been critical of the government.

Ranked 152nd out of 180 countries in Reporters without Borders (RSF)'s 2022 World Press Freedom Index, Tajikistan has fallen 36 places in the index since 2015.