Tajikistan: Jailed Journalist Continues Hunger Strike amid Deteriorating Health
According to our sources in Tajik Interior Ministry, Mr. Hikmatulloh Saifullohzoda, a jailed journalist and political activist, continues hunger strike amid deteriorating health in protest of torture and inhuman treatment in prison.
Saifullozoda (66 years old), chief-in-editor of “Najot” newspaper, former spokesman for the IRPT and member of the IRPT Political Council, who began the hunger strike a few days ago, is suffering from serious health issues and is at severe risk of further health complications.
Likewise, he had been previously subjected to torture and mistreatment in detention center five months ago. Freedom House in a release in 7 March 2016 in response to reports that authorities in Tajikistan have tortured him, said: “Any use of torture or other degrading treatment to silence dissent shows disregard of fundamental human rights, as in this case of an opposition figure already detained on trumped up charges.”
In February 2011, Mr. Saifullozod (born in March 1, 1950) was badly beaten outside his Dushanbe home and had been in serious condition for his critical analyses and weekly political articles.
Saifullozoda was well-known for his countless articles exposing the government for corruption, crackdown on opposition, nepotism, etc, published weekly in “Najot”, the official newspaper of the IRPT.
He along with 12 other high-ranking members of the IRPT had been detained in 16 September 2015.
We call for immediate and unconditional stop to torture and mistreatment of the political prisoners in Tajikistan, who has been imprisoned solely for practicing their rights to free expression and political activities and as a result of their human rights work.