Tajik freelance journalist Daler Sharipov has been detained and is currently being held at the State Committee for National Security (SCNS) head office in Dushanbe.

The journalist was reportedly summoned for questioning to the SCNS office in Dushanbe’s Shohmansour district on January 28 and he has not been seen since.

On January 29, Daler Sharipov was moved from the SCNS office in Dushanbe’s Shohmansour district to the SCNS head office, Ms. Shoira Davlatova, the head the Dushanbe-based Independent Center for Human Rights Protection, told Asia-Plus in an interview.  

According to her, the Independent Center for Human Rights Protection has provided legal representation for Daler Sharipov.

The lawyer, Abdurahmon Sharipov, not a relative, says has not yet been granted access to his client.

“We have presented defense authorization and relevant letter to the SCNS in order to get permission to defend Daler Sharipov.  Consideration of our documents will probably take four or five days.  However, we will call SCNS officers every day in order to clarify the situation with Daler,” the lawyer told Asia-Plus in an interview.  

One of relatives of Daler Sharipov told Asia-Plus yesterday that security officers had conducted a search of Sharipov’s home during which they confiscated several books in Tajik, Russian and Arabic languages.  “They said that they will check out the books and will release him after questioning,” the relative said.  

Daler Sharipov had previously worked with Tajik national TV channel Safina as author and host of the program “Mushoirat” (Communicating).    In recent years, he has not worked anywhere officially. 

Meanwhile Eurasianet says Daler Sharipov had worked for Ozodagon newspaper, which was pressured out of existence in 2019.

Sharipov has worked as a journalist for the past decade. Most recently, he had worked for the independent newspaper Ozodagon, which was forced to close shop in 2019, Eurasianet said, noting that most of the staff at the newspaper, including its founder Zafar Sufi, have sought asylum in Europe.  After Ozodagon folded, Sharipov reportedly remained in Dushanbe and continued to work freelance, writing about government campaigns to pressure women into refraining from wearing hijabs and other rights violations.