Radio Liberty’s Tajik Service, known locally as Radio Ozodi, reported on January19 that a brother of jailed Tajik lawyer Saidnouriddin Shamsiddinov has been sentenced to four years in prison on charges that he rejects.

Bahovaddin Shamsiddinov's relatives told RFE/RL yesterday that he was found guilty of allegedly being associated with the banned Group 24 movement, fraud, illegal land sales, and the spreading of false information.  According to them, Shamsiddinov pleaded not guilty and called all the charges "slander."

Officials from the Vakhsh district court confirmed to RFE/RL that Bahovaddin Shamsiddinov was sentenced to four years in prison on January 19.

Meanwhile, the exiled spokesman of Group 24, Ubaidullo Saidi, told RFE/RL that Shamsiddinov had nothing to do with the opposition movement.

Recall, Saidnouriddin Shamsiddinov, a 41-year-old attorney and former bailiff was sentenced to 8 1/2 years in prison in December 2020 after a Vakhsh court found him guilty of seven crimes, including the illegal sale of land, fraud, and purposefully spreading false information.

Saidnouriddin Shamsiddinov also rejected all the charges, saying the case was politically motivated as retaliation for his open criticism of officials.

In mid-April 2021, a new probe was launched against Saidnouriddin Shamsiddinov

In late 2021, his sentence was extended by eight months after a court found him guilty of having links with Group 24, which he also rejected.

Saidnouriddin’s defense lawyer, Faiz Oli, noted at the time that his client had nothing to do with Group 24 and had never had any contact with the banned organization.

Group 24 was founded by well-known businessman and opposition politician Umarali Quvatov in 2012.

In 2014, Tajikistan's Supreme Court declared the group extremist and banned it from the Central Asian country.  Dozens of the group's members and supporters have been arrested and many of them sentenced to lengthy prison terms.

In March 2015, Quvatov was assassinated in Istanbul, Turkiye.