Materials on the fourth criminal proceedings instituted against known human rights lawyer Buzurgmehr Yorov, who is serving a 28-year prison term, have moved to a court, Buzurgmehr’s mother, Hurinisso Ishoqova, told Radio Liberty’s Tajik Service, known locally as Radio Ozodi, in an interview on May 27.  

According to her, a state-appointed lawyer recently told them that Buzurgmehr’s case had moved to a court and that this is the end of his powers and he would no longer represent Buzurgmehr Yorov’s interest in the court.  

“His lawyer called and said that Buzurgmehr’s case moved to a court but didn’t say in which court,” Buzurgmehr’s mother said.  

Recall, the Poland-based Buzurgmehr Foundation, an independent group that advocates for political prisoners in Tajikistan, said in early April that Buzurgmehr Yorov has recently been charged with a large-scale fraud committed with a particularly dangerous recidivism (Article 247 (4) of Tajikistan’s Penal Code), which is punishable by up to 12 years in prison.  Yorov has been transferred from Vahdat-based penal colony, where he is serving his jail term, to the pretrial detention facility in Dushanbe

Buzurgmehr’s brother Jamshed Yorov has also published this statement on his Facebook page.

New charges have been brought against Buzurgmehr Yorov on the basis of an alleged statement by Hasan Hasanov, a prisoner, who has been serving his jail term together with Buzurgmehr Yorov in the Vahdat-based penal colony.

The new criminal proceedings instituted against Buzurgmehr Yorov are reportedly classified as ‘secret’.   

Buzurgmehr Yorov

Buzurgmehr Yorov, 52, was a lawyer for 13 jailed members and leaders of the Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan (IRPT), which was labeled a terrorist organization and outlawed in 2015.

In October 2016, Yorov was sentenced to 23 years in prison after a court convicted him of calling for the government's overthrow and inciting social unrest.

The U.S. State Department and rights groups have condemned Yorov's arrest.

Later, his prison term was extended to 28 years after he was found guilty of contempt of court and insulting a government official.

In September 2019, Buzurgmehr Yorov was awarded the Faiziniso Vohidova Human Rights Prize for his contribution to the development of democratic institutions and civil rights in Tajikistan. The award, established by the Association of Central Asian Migrants in Europe, was handed to Yorov's brother Jamshed Yorov in Warsaw at the Human Dimension Implementation Meeting of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, on September 18.

In February 2020, Buzurgmehr Yorov was awarded annual Homo Homini prize of the Prague-based NGO People in Need for his “commitment to defending basic human rights and to assure a fair trial to all citizens” of his country.

In October 2021, Buzurgmehr Yorov’s prison sentence was reduced by four years under amnesty.