Noted Tajik blogger Daler Imomali has got a ten-year jail term.  He must also pay a fine.

Imomali’s relatives told Asia-Plus today morning that a court in Dushanbe’s Shohmansour district sentenced Daler Imomali to 10 years in prison on October 17.  

They did not say anything else, and they did not name the amount of the fine. 

Asia-Plus failed to get more detailed information from Imomali’s defense lawyer  

It is not known whether the lawyer and Daler’s relatives will appeal the verdict in higher instances. 

The court's ruling was nearly identical to the prosecution's earlier demand for the prison term of 10 ½ years.  

Imomali’s case moved to a court on September 15 and the trial began on October 7.  The trial was held at the Dushanbe-based pretrial detention facility behind closed doors.

Imomali is charged with illegal entrepreneurship, premeditated false denunciation, and cooperating with the banned Group 24 opposition movement, which was officially designated in the country as a terrorist organization in 2014.  Imomali pleaded guilty to the illegal entrepreneurship charge, but rejected the other two.

Imomali was detained along with noted journalist Abdullo Ghurbati on June 15 and sent to pretrial detention three days later.

Abdullo Ghurbati was sentenced to 7 1/2 years in prison on October 4.  The sentenced followed his conviction on charges publicly insulting an authority, minor assault of an authority, and participating in the activities of an extremist group.  Ghurbati pleaded not guilty to all three charges.   

Meanwhile, a court in Dushanbe’s Ismoili Somoni district is still considering criminal proceedings instituted against two other independent journalists Zavqibek Saidamini and Abdusattor Pirmuhammadzoda.  

International groups have called on the Tajik government to release the reporters and end its campaign against the free press.

Ranked 152nd out of 180 countries in RSF's 2022 World Press Freedom Index, Tajikistan has fallen 36 places in the index since 2015.