Joint Statement of grave concern on the sentencing of journalist Khairullo Mirsaidov

The Embassies of the United Kingdom, Germany, France, the United States, and the EU Delegation in the Republic of Tajikistan express their common grave concern over the trial of the independent journalist Khairullo Mirsaidov.

We understand Mr. Mirsaidov has been sentenced to 12 years in prison.  We believe this sentence is extremely harsh, incomparable with the crime he was accused of.  This sentencing will have a negative impact on the freedom of media and expression in Tajikistan, and we strongly urge the relevant authorities in the Republic of Tajikistan to re-consider this verdict.  We are concerned that this sentence will compromise our joint struggle for good governance and thus cast a shadow on our cooperation.

This case has already received widespread international attention.  We consider that full respect for the rule of law, including fair judicial proceedings and non-arbitrary judicial proceedings, is in the interest of Tajikistan and is necessary to ensure international support for Tajikistan to realise its political and development goals.