Son Of Convicted Tajik Islamic Cleric Gets Lengthy Prison Term

DUSHANBE -- A court in Dushanbe has sentenced the son of well-known Islamic cleric Said Qiyomiddin Ghozi to 13 years in prison on a charge of high treason.

A city official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told RFE/RL on November 3 that the Dushanbe City Court sentenced 44-year-old Said Muhammad Saidqiyomiddin last week after finding him guilty of spying for Iran.

According to the official, the trial was held behind closed doors and the accusation stemmed from his assistance in getting Iranian entry visas for two young Tajiks in the 1990s.

Saidqiyomiddin's relatives confirmed the sentencing to RFE/RL and said they would appeal the ruling.

The Dushanbe City Court officials refused to comment about the case.

Saidqiyomiddin was arrested in July along with his two younger brothers, who are awaiting trials on extremism charges.

Their father, Said Qiyomiddin Ghozi, was very popular in the 1990s and was nicknamed "the people's general."

He was kidnapped in the Russian city of St. Petersburg in November 2017 and brought to Tajikistan.

A Tajik court later sentenced him to 25 years in prison after finding him guilty of inciting hatred, high treason, and public calls to overthrow the government.

In May 2019, Ghozi was killed during a prison riot in the Vahdat district near Dushanbe.