A resident of Khatlon province has got a jail term of 12 years committed in the country during the civil war (1992-1997).

Radio Liberty’s Tajik Service, known locally as Radio Ozodi, reports that Yusuf (Jourabek) Solehov, a former bodyguard of one of former field commander of the former pro-government Popular Front Khouja Karimov (better known as Commander Khouja), was found guilty of participating together with ten other militants of the Population Front in killing 22 (twenty-two) members of one family in Ghozimalik (currently Khuroson) district in Khatlon province.  

The Bokhtar district court sentenced Solehov to 12 years in prison on February 23.  The sentenced followed his conviction under Article 104 (2) of Tajikistan’s Penal Coe -- murder of two or more people.  Solehov will serve his term in a high-security penal colony.    

A prosecutor in the trial of Solehov reportedly asked the Bokhtar district court to sentence him to a 15-year prison term. 

Relatives of the victims considered the sentence lenient and demanded its revision, according to Radio Ozodi

Solehov was reportedly detained in the Russian Federation in July last year and was extradited to Tajikistan at the request of the Prosecutor-General’s Office of Tajikistan to prosecute for the murder of 22 people, including a pregnant woman.  

The investigation established that on October 14, 1992, acting by prior agreement, Solehov together with his accomplices burst into house in Sarband village for the purpose of stealing property.  He reportedly shot members of the family and their relatives, doused the bodies with gasoline and set them on fire, says a statement released by the Prosecutor-General’s Office.      

Two of the victims, including an 11-year-old boy, managed to survive.  Solehov subsequently left Tajikistan and hid from justice in Russia for a long time.  

In March 2022, the Bokhtar district court put Solehov on the wanted list.  After his arrest in Russia, the Prosecutor-General’s Office of Russia satisfied the request of the Prosecutor-General's Office of Tajikistan for his extradition.   

Recall, Khouja Karimov himself was sentenced to 21 years in prison.  At first, he was sentenced to 14 years in prison in March 2021.  The sentence followed his conviction on charges of banditry, murders, hostage taking, tortures, and illegal possession of weapons.

In February 2022, seven additional years were added to Karimov’s jail term following new charges brought against him after more than 15 people accused him of hostage taking, banditry and murders.  Commander Khouja is notorious for reported cruelty during the civil conflict.