Jailed Tajik Activist Gets Another Six Years In Prison On Fraud Charge

By RFE/RL's Tajik Service

DUSHANBE -- A noted Tajik rights defender who was sentenced to nine years in prison in October 2021 on fraud charges that he has rejected has been handed an additional six years in prison.

The Somoni district court in Dushanbe sentenced Izzat Amon on June 6 after it found him guilty of stealing $17,000 from two plaintiffs through a fraud scheme. Amon's relatives have said the case is fabricated.

Amon led the Center for Tajiks in Moscow for many years before his Russian citizenship was taken away and he was forced to return to Dushanbe in March 2021 at the request of Tajik authorities, who accused him of financial fraud.

Amon's supporters and relatives dismissed the charges as politically motivated before he was convicted and sentenced in October.

Activists and rights groups say President Emomali Rahmon, who has ruled Tajikistan since 1992, has used various levers of power to suppress rights groups and dissent.

Amon's nonprofit organization in Moscow helped Tajik migrant workers find jobs, obtain work and residency permits, and get legal advice.