Thursday, September 21st, 2023

Video Message from Junaidullo Khudoyorov

Greetings to all those who can hear my voice. As you can see, I am currently confined within this cage. At the behest of the Tajik authorities, particularly the head of the Department of Internal Affairs for the region and Rasht district, BoronzodMahmadsaid Boron, I have been detained in Berezov, Khanty-Mansi Autonomous District of the Russian Federation. Their objective is to extradite me to Tajikistan. On June 24, 2023, at 16:00 local time, my case will be heard in court. I am uncertain of what lies ahead, but I remain hopeful that the court will not authorize my extradition and instead provide protection for me in this jurisdiction.

I appeal to all human rights organizations, civil society groups, Tajik lawyers and attorneys, as well as Russian and international legal advocates, to extend their support to me. I am innocent of any crime and I refuse to be prosecuted for an offense I did not commit. In the past, I was wrongfully convicted in Tajikistan and sentenced to five years in prison. Subsequently, I was granted amnesty and released. Regrettably, this is the second instance of such an injustice being perpetrated against me, and they are now pursuing a case against an innocent individual.

To be frank, when my lawyer arrived and saw me, and upon reviewing the charges leveled against me, he could not help but laugh in disbelief. It is truly a shame— a man accused and labeled a criminal without any firsthand evidence or contact with the alleged victim. I humbly implore each and every one of you to stand by me in this challenging time. I call upon Human Rights Watch, Freedom House, and other human rights organizations, as well as Tajik lawyers, to prevent my extradition to Tajikistan. I seek refuge in Russia or another country, where I can reside as a protected refugee without the fear of being sent back to Tajikistan.

Thank you for your unwavering attention and support.

Junaidullo Khudoyorov

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