Suspected Tajik IS Recruiter Says Confession Obtained Under Duress

A Tajik court is reviewing a complaint from a man who claims that his confession saying he tried to recruit fighters for the extremist group Islamic State (IS) was obtained under duress.

Jovidon Hakimov, 29, claims he was severely beaten by police officers who interrogated him after his arrest in January, his lawyers said on March 29.

"Hakimov told the court on March 28 that the officers beat him...and broke his nose during the interrogations in the basement of the police station," attorney Muhabbat Usmonova said. He added that Hakimov also said officers subjected him to electric shock.

Several police officers who testified at the Dushanbe court hearing rejected Hakimov’s claims.

Usmonova said the court has rejected a request from Hakimov's lawyers for him to undergo a medical test to examine the alleged mistreatment.

Hakimov is accused of recruiting several Tajik citizens to fight for IS in Iraq and Syria.

Prosecutors allege he was "in regular telephone contact" in 2013 with his brother Abdujalil Hakimov and their neighbor Nusrat Nazarov, who they say were fighting alongside IS militants in Iraq at the time.Abdujalil Hakimov is believed to have been killed in fighting in Iraq.

Tajik authorities say some 1,100 Tajik nationals have joined IS militants in the Middle East, with most of them recruited in Russia, which hosts hundreds of thousands of Tajik migrant workers.