The Khatlon regional court has revised the sentence of Yusuf Solehov, the former bodyguard of one of former field commanders of the former pro-government Popular Front Khouja Karimov (better known as Commander Khouja), who is charged with participation in the murder of 23 members of one family during the civil war in Tajikistan in 1992-1997.   

His jail term has reportedly been increased from eight to fifteen years.  

Varqa Zainiddin, a senior aide to the Khatlon chief prosecutor, told Asia-Plus that the country’s Supreme Court  had upheld Khatlon chief prosecutor’s protest.  

Recall, the Bokhtar city court in February this year sentenced Solehov to 12 years in prison for crimes committed in the country during the civil war (1992-1997).  The sentenced followed his conviction under Article 104 (2) of Tajikistan’s Penal Code -- murder of two or more people.

In March, the Bokhtar city court handed down a ruling to reduce Solehov’s jail term from 12 to 8 years.  The court’s decision stated that the verdict took into account the general amnesty that was declared in Tajikistan in 1998. 

The Khatlon chief prosecutor’s office has expressed disagreement with the Bokhtar city court's decision to reduce the Solehov’s prison term, noting that the imposed term too mild and inconsistent with the crime committed and has appealed to the higher court. 

The Supreme Court has upheld the protest of the Khatlon chief prosecutor’s office and Solehov’s sentence has been increased to fifteen years. 

“After the revision of the case, the Khatlon regional court on May 22 found Yusuf Solehov guilty of murder (Article 104 of Tajikistan’s Penal Code), causing major damage (Article 156) and intentional destruction or damage to property (Article 255) and sentenced him to fifteen years in prison.  Solehov will serve his jail term in a high-security penal colony,” Zainiddin said.  

Another accomplice in this terrible murder – Orif Yorov – was sentenced by the Khatlon regional court to 14 years in prison on April 13, 2022.  

According to information from the Khatlon chef prosecutor’s office, the following people also participated in that crime in 1992 Согласно информации прокуратуры, в том преступлении в 1992 году также участвовали:


  • Sadriddin Karimov;
  • Almat Yarov;
  • Ibrohim Belmatov;
  • Fakhriddin Mustafoyev;
  • Saidburhon Nacriddin;
  • Sheri Farkhori, also known as Telnayshka (a horizontally striped undershirt worn as uniform by Russian military personnel).


Yusuf 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 23 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 for Russia and hid from justice there for a long time.

In March 2022, the Bokhtar city 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. 

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.