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Information About the Case of Jobir Rahmatulloi Rajab

Information About the Case of Jobir Rahmatulloi Rajab

Name and Surname:

Jobir Rahmatulloi Rajab

Date of Birth:

Born on June 5, 1958 in the village of Taknazari, Faizabad district, to the family of workers.

Education, Position and Occupations Before Imprisonment:

Before he was arrested, Rahmatulloi Rajab was a member of the Supreme Board of the Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan (IRPT) and the Chairman of the IRPT Department on the Districts of Republic Subordination (Districts under Tajikistan Central Government Jurisdiction), at the same time, he worked as a Reporter on the Information and Analytical Center website “nahzat.tj”.

Briefly about His Imprisonment:

In 1965, Jobir Rahmatulloi Rajab went to the general education school of Taknazari village, Fayzabad district, and graduated from this school in 1975. After graduating from school in 1975, he went to the Pedagogical Institute named after T. G. Shevchenko in Dushanbe, graduated in absentia in 1982. In 1976-78 he served in the army of the Soviet Union (USSR), of which Tajikistan was a part. He did his military service in Germany.

From 1978, he worked in GOSKOMSTAT – the State Committee on Statistics of the Republic of Tajikistan as an administrative manager, from 1981 – Head of the Technical Support Department of this Committee, and from 1984 to 1991 as the Deputy Chairman of the Financial Department of this Committee.

In 1985 he went to the State University of the Republic of Tajikistan named after I.V. Lenin in absentia and graduated in 1990 from this university with Economics Degree.

Jobir Rahmatulloi Rajab was not a member of IRPT from the beginning. He joined the party when IRPT was no longer a movement, but was an officially registered political party in Tajikistan. That is, he officially became the party member in 2004. He worked in the state bodies of the Soviet era and later participated in the movements of the liberation era of the 1990s.

During the Soviet period, he took part and contributed in the election campaigns of Otakhon Latifi, Buri Karimov, Davlat Khudonazarov, the establishment of the people’s movement “Rastokhez”, the Democratic Party of Tajikistan and participated in the first rallies. He also worked as a reporter in the newspaper “Rastokhez” and at the same time worked as the Deputy Chairman of programs of the People’s Television of the Republic of Tajikistan.

From 1992 to 1993, he worked in the independent newspaper “Charoghi Ruz”. From 1994 to 1996, he worked as the Chief Accountant of the State Cooperative Union “Rohsoz”.

From 1999 to 2002, he worked in the UN Mission East as a field officer, and from 2002 to 2004 as a coordinator.

From 2004 to 2005, he worked as a Reporter in the newspaper “Soorush”. From 2005 to 2006, he worked at the newspaper “Millat”.

From 2006 to 2007, he worked as a Deputy Director at a publishing company “Rafigraf” LLC, and at the same time worked at the Department of Personnel and Political Training of the IRPT.

Rahmatulloi Rajab has been an employee of the Department on the Election of the IRPT from 2006, and from 2007 he was the Chairman of the Department on the Election of the IRPT. In 2010, he became a member of the Supreme Board of the IRPT and in 2013 – the Chairman of the IRPT Department on the Districts of Republic Subordination (Districts under Tajikistan Central Government Jurisdiction),

From April 2014 to the day of his arrest, he worked as a Reporter on the Information and Analysis Center website “nahzat.tj”.

He is married and has 5 children.

Detention:

In the evening of September 15, 2015, at 7:30 PM, three officers of the State Committee for National Security of Tajikistan in civilian clothes entered his apartment without introducing themselves, escorted Rahmatulloi Rajab to a black car and took him with them. Nilufari Rahmatullo, his daughter asked them at that time: Who are you and where are you taking my father? One of them said: We will take him to the law enforcement department to ask him few questions and after interrogation we will release him.

After a three-day detention, Rahmatulloi Rajab was transferred from the detention center of the State Committee for National Security to detention center of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. On September 19, 2015, he was taken into pretrial detention for two months.

It should be noted that a day before his arrest, on September 14, 2015, Rahmatulloi Rajab was planning to go on a business trip to the Russian Federation, but when he was already in the plane of “Ural Airlines” in Dushanbe airport, the law enforcement officers took him off the plan. Then, at the customs control, they put a travel ban stamp on his passport.

Investigation:

The investigator of the Investigative Department of the Prosecutor General’s Office of the Republic of Tajikistan on particularly important cases, was Ibrohimzoda I. He acted as the head of the investigation team and investigated the cases of prisoners.

Lawyer:

A lawyer Azizov Bahrullo, a public defender, was appointed by the investigative authorities to Jobir Rahmatulloi Rajab. According to Valamati Ibrohimzoda, wife of Rahmatulloi Rajab, public defender Azizov Bahrullo always ran away from the prison door, so Valamati Ibrohimzoda would not meet him and ask him about the outcome and progress of the court proceedings. Azizov Bahrullo acted in the interests of the investigation and the court, not the defendant, said Valamati Ibrahimzoda.

Also, Valamati Ibrohimzoda, the wife of the defendant Rahmatulloi Rajab, was called as a witness in the trial only once, she participated once and was asked about the Rahmatulloi Rajab’s characteristics. In other cases, Valamati Ibrahimzoda was not called to the trial. As participation in court proceedings was forbidden, trial was held behind closed doors and in secret.

Court Decision:

Jobir Rahmatulloi Rajab had no criminal backgrounds, was a resident of Dushanbe city, F. Attor street, house 50. He was found guilty of 14 articles of the Criminal Code and was sentenced to 28 years in prison.

Article 187 parts 1 and 2 (Organizing a criminal community (criminal organization);

Article 189 part 3 item “a” (Arousing national, racial, local or religious hostility committed by an organized group);

Article 307 part 3 (Public calls to forcible changing the constitutional system of the Republic of Tajikistan );

Article 131 part 3 paragraph “a” (Kidnapping committed by an organized group);

Article 32, part 3-309, part 2, paragraph “b” (Attempted sabotage);

Article 199 part 4 paragraphs “a, b, c” (Stealing of weapons, ammunitions, explosives, and explosive mechanisms);

Article 195 part 3 (Illegal buying, selling, keeping, transportation or carrying weapons, ammunitions, explosives and explosive mechanisms);

Article 104, part 2, paragraphs “a, b, j, z, i, l, m, p” (Murder);

Article 32 part 3-104 part 2 paragraph s “a, b, j, z, i, l, m, p” (assassination);

Article 179 part 3 paragraph “a” (Terrorism);

Article 306 (Forcible capture of power or forcible keeping power);

Article 313 (Armed rebellion);

Article 307 addendum 1 part 1 (Public calls for extremist activity (extremism) and public justification of extremism);

Article 307 addendum 3, part 2 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Tajikistan (Organization of activities of an extremist organization).

The Decision is 100 pages long and was issued by the Supreme Court of the Republic of Tajikistan on June 2, 2016.

Appeals Against the Decision :

Rahmatulloi Rajab has appealed twice to the Supreme Court of the Republic of Tatarstan. First, he filed the cassation appeal in September 2016. Later, on May 26, 2017, he wrote a 7-page supervisory appeal to Shermuhammadi Shohiyon, the Chairmen of the Supreme Court of Tajikistan, which was unsuccessful and unanswered. Also, in 2021, he addressed the Ombudsman of Tajikistan, the State Committee for National Security of Tajikistan, and the Prosecutor General’s Office of the Republic of Tajikistan with an open letter, which has not yet been answered to date.

Place Held:

Currently, he is being held in the correctional facility of maximum security No. 3/1 of the Main Directorate for the Execution of Criminal Punishments of the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Tajikistan in the city of Vahdat.

(Previously, this facility or the prison was in Dushanbe, but it was moved to city of Vahdat in May 2021).

Visits to the Prisoner:

According to the requirements of correctional facility of maximum security No. 3/1 in the city of Vahdat, the relatives of Rahmatulloi Rajab have the right to visit him 3 times a year, i.e. every 4 months. The visit with the prisoner takes place in the prison’s meeting room, which consists of a separate room, and the prisoners and their relatives can stay there for up to three days. They should provide living conditions at their own expense. Visits are paid, the price is 16 somoni for one night and 48 somoni for 3 nights. The relatives should pay this amount at Amonatbank in advance and submit the receipt to the prison administration.

Also, his relatives may visit him behind glass for about 2 hours every 3 months.

Also, the prisoner is allowed to make phone calls twice a week. The phone calls are also paid by minutes, and the relatives should pay in form of “phone card”.

Torture:

Since his arrest on September 15, 2015, Rahmatulloi Rajab has been subject to constant torture and harassment by the Tajik law enforcement officers. According to his relatives, the first two weeks of his detention he was held in secret and there was no information available about Rahmatulloi Rajab’s whereabouts. Because one day after his detention, i.e. on 16.09.2015, he was subjected to severe torture and beating by the officers of the State Committee for National Security in the detention center, as a result of which he was unconscious for 6 hours and all his body parts were swollen until the trial.

According to Nilufar Rajabova, his daughter, four law enforcement officers covered his head with a bag and beat him severely. One’s name was Saidali with the nickname “bespaly”, (Russian for Fingerless), the second one’s name was Furqat, they were wearing heavy boots with steel toecap, and hit her father’s body with such intensity that his ribs were broken on both sides, said Nilufar Rajabova, daughter of Rahmatulloi Rajab.

The names and surnames of two other torturers are unknown.

Also, in June 2016, he was subjected to torture, as a result of which his left hand was injured. The reason for that was because he did not agree to the court’s verdict.

The third time he was tortured in the same year, on June 27, 2016, when he was transferred from the pre-trial detention center to Dushanbe Prison No. 1. He was tortured so severely by the law enforcement officers, that as a result his clavicle was severely injured and he suffered a stroke. The reason of that was his son’s activities in the media and social media. In addition, on the same day, a number of young people from Avangard group and “students” protested in front of his relatives’ house, threw stones and eggs at their gate, hold slogan posters and set fire to photos of Kabiri.

Photo of the protests:

Video of the protests 27/09/2016: Rahmatulloi Rajab’s wife condemned the protesters’ behaviour.

On May 28, 2018, the UN Committee against Torture expressed concern about the indifference of the authorities to the claims of Rahmatulloi Rajab being tortured after his arrest in 2015. The committee also expressed concern over the fact that all the details of the investigation and court proceedings were “confidential”, stating: “The details of the investigation of the complaint regarding the torture of Mahmadali Hayit, Rahmatulloi Rajab and Saidumar Husaini should be revealed”.

From 21.05.2019 to 25.05.2019, he was transferred to punishment cell, stripped and beaten with a rubber baton. He was kept and tortured there for 4 days, as a result of which his stroke intensified, and the left side of his body, such as arms and legs, was completely disabled. His relatives saw signs of injuries and torture on his body while visiting him.

Valamati Ibrahimzoda said that on May 25, 2019, together with her daughter Rajabova Nilufar, she visited her husband in Dushanbe Prison No. 1, and she saw beating marks on her husband’s body, which were probably inflicted with a rubber baton. In particular, blue and black marks were seen on his back – above the kidneys, in the middle and above his shoulders, and his eyes were also red. The reason for Rahmatulloi Rajab being placed in punishment cell was explained by the prison administration that Rahmatulloi Rajab allegedly violated the prison discipline and disobeyed the orders of the prison guards. But relatives of the prisoner said that he was accused of spreading information about the riot in Vahdat prison, which the prison administration called “propaganda”. He was also transferred to punishment cell for not recording confession videos.

On 01.11.2021, two political prisoners, Rahmatulloi Rajab and Zubaydulloi Rozik appealed with an open letter to the President Emomali Rahmon asking him to assist in “reconsidering their case in the presence of international experts and observers, as well as domestic and foreign journalists”. After writing the letter, they were transferred to solitary confinement of the prison for 60 days and subjected to torture.

According to his daughter Nilufar Rajabova, his father Rahmatulloi Rajab said: “In reality, they did not beat us there. But I wish they beat, but would not put in solitary confinement”, said Nilufar Rajabova.

Due to various kinds of tortures in prison, in particular “sklonka”, which is a form of torture (the prisoner is forced to stand for long hours in cold weather or under the scorching sun on hot days, or forced to seat for long hours like sitting in a pit toilet), which caused veins in his legs became swollen and he had glandular-pneumatode adenoma of the intestine.

Even his clothes become worn out and unusable due to standing too long in the scorching sun or in the cold winter weather. In the summer, he orders a up to 5 or 6 undershirts.

Valamati Ibrohimzoda twice appealed to Mansurjon Umarov, the Deputy Chairman of the Main Directorate for the Execution of Criminal Punishments of the Ministry of Justice of Tajikistan to free her husband Rahmatulloi Rajab from “sklonka” torture. However, on 18.08.2019 she received a negative respond. They said that Rahmatulloi Rajab was included in the list of convicts who potentially would try to escape, and that’s why, this type of punishment, or “sklonka” was legal, and it was reasonably applied.

“We would like to inform you that the main purpose of the criminal punishment execution officers of the Republic of Tajikistan is correction of the convicts and prevention of the commission of new crimes,” the letter reads.

Even after Rahmatulloi Rajab was infected with COVID-19 and suffered a lot in prison, his wife Valamati Ibrohimzoda on 17.04.2021 requested two more times for her husband to be released from the “sklonka” punishment, which were rejected and were unsuccessful.

Rahmatulloi Rajab was repeatedly tortured by the law enforcement officers in prison. Even during his years of freedom, he was always summoned to the law enforcement agencies and was pressured and persecuted.

General Health Condition:

Jobir Rahmatulloi Rajab’s health deteriorated greatly due to being tortured a lot. He often complained about his poor health and ordered medicines, whenever he contacted his family.

In May 2020 Rahmatulloi Rajab fall sick with coronavirus in prison. But the prison administration hid this fact so that the rumor of the coronavirus and the prisoners being infected would not spread out and would not reach the media.

Day by day, Jobir Rahmatulloi Rajab’s health deteriorated, and for a week his temperature rose to 38-39°C, he had a sore throat and breathing difficulties. After public outrage and the news of the deterioration of Rahmatulloi Rajab’s health was published in the media, he and several other sick prisoners were transferred to the medical unit for treatment. But at that time, the authorities rejected the allegations that he and other prisoners fall sick with the coronavirus, saying that Rahmatulloi Rajab only had a cold.

His relatives kept insisting that Rahmatulloi Rajab should get a medical test in the medical unit of the prison. After an X-ray examination, it was found that he was infected with the coronavirus.

Due to various tortures in prison, Rahmatulloi Rajab health deteriorated and he often falls sick. Especially after he was infected with COVID-19, he has weakened immune system, and this caused other health problems, that’s why lately he complained a lot about his health condition and suffered from various diseases.

In 2019, he suffered from a heart disease and even had a stroke once. Also, in 2020, he was diagnosed with glandular-pneumatode adenoma of the intestine and is still suffering from it.

Lately, in June 2022, in a telephone conversation with his wife Valamati Ibrohimzoda, he complained of heart disease and severe toothache and ordered medicine.

He is currently taking the following medications:

Afobazol, Pardifen, No-spa to reduce pain intensity.

Vitamins for the heart, Panangin, Fitokalm.

Valerian, Corvalol, Pion, Metrocardil and several other solutions for his heart.

Last Visit to the Prisoner:

Valamati Ibrohimzoda visited her husband Jobir Rahmatulloi Rajab for the last time on July 1, 2022, for three days in the prison’s meeting room.

Appeals to International and Domestic Organizations:

In September 2016, his wife appealed against the court decision to the United Nations and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe in Tajikistan, but with no result.

On November 19, 2019, the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention found the deprivation of liberty of 11 prisoners arbitrary. The Working Group called Tajik authorities to release the 11 individuals immediately and accord
them an enforceable right to compensation and other reparations, in accordance with international law.

A copy of Opinions adopted by the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention at its eighty-sixth session, 18–22 November 2019

Was the Amnesty Law Applied?

No, it was not applied to Jobir Rahmatulloi Rajab.

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